Posts Tagged ‘evergreens’

Spruce trees are silhouetted against the rising sun at Rainbow Haven beach.  Over the years, these trees have endured, despite the salt spray and hurricane force winds.  Like many other trees on the Eastern seaboard, evergreens have shown accelerated growth in recent years.

The lighter, brighter green of this year’s growth is especially remarkable.  Scientists attribute increased growth to the following three factors:

  • Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • Warmer temperatures
  • An extended growing season

All of the above factors point to climate change as the underlying cause.

Though older trees on the landscape are a sign of strength and endurance, new ones are representative of hope.  While the strange and severe weather often attributed to climate change is a concern, accelerated tree growth is welcomed.

The forest is alive with new life in its many forms.  Below, a witch’s broom growing on a balsam fir, is light yellow-green.

The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber.  The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

For more information on Witches’ Brooms, see Witches’ Brooms in Winter.

For more information on accelerated tree growth see Science Daily.

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Three species of spruce trees are found in Nova Scotia: white, red and black. All three types grow around Flandrum Hill.  Tolerant of shade, they’re often found in stands together along with balsam fir, yellow birch and sugar maple.

All are shallow-rooted and susceptible to being toppled by strong winds. The black spruce can be especially top heavy and is best left growing in a stand in order to remain windfirm.

Ripe cones of all three are closed and leathery during wet weather, and open and hard when it’s dry.

White spruce often has a whitish cast to its green or bluish-green needles. Bark is light greyish-brown. Its cones are the longest of the three types, usually up to 2 inches in length.  Green at first, they turn brown in autumn and fall off the tree in winter.

Red spruce growth is confined to Eastern Canada.  It is Nova Scotia’s provincial tree. Needles are yellowish-green. Bark is light reddish-brown. Red spruce can interbreed with black spruce, sometimes making identification between the two difficult.  Cones fall off the tree either in winter or the following spring.

Black spruce have blunt tipped needles that are the shortest of the three (1/2″ long).  These trees are often stunted in growth when situated on boggy soil.  Bark can be greyish to reddish brown.   Their cones are egg-shaped and can stay on the tree for years.  They can be extremely hard and difficult to open.  Individual seeds are black.

The ability to grow new trees by rooting lower branches in wet moss is unique to black spruce. 

Some diseases and pests have a tendency to prefer one type of spruce over another.  It’s best to keep a diversity of trees on your lot, should one species of tree be affected. 

References:  Native Trees of Canada by R.C. Hosie and Trees of Nova Scotia by Gary L. Saunders

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