Dropping Needles In The Autumn

Posted by Francesca

Most needle-bearing trees keep their needles all year long, earning them the name "evergreen."  However, there are certain species of conifers that do something quite different - they drop all their needles in the autumn and are bare all winter long.  We have a few of these species at the farm and I gave Sharkey a little tour the other day.

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Sharkey, do you see that the bald cypress trees are dropping their needles?

1 Sharkey, do you see that the bald cypress trees are dropping their needles?

Sharkey, the bald cypress is a needle-bearing tree and most needle-bearing trees keep their needles all year long.

2 Sharkey, the bald cypress is a needle-bearing tree and most needle-bearing trees keep their needles all year long.

In an unusual attribute, bald cypress lose all their needles in the winter, thus the

3 In an unusual attribute, bald cypress lose all their needles in the winter, thus the "bald" aspect of their name.

Their needles are pale-green and lacy all summer long and then they seem to turn brown all at once before dropping off.

4 Their needles are pale-green and lacy all summer long and then they seem to turn brown all at once before dropping off.

Franny, the trees will really look bald when all the needles drop.

5 Franny, the trees will really look bald when all the needles drop.

However, right now they really look pretty in the sunlight.

6 However, right now they really look pretty in the sunlight.

Sharkey, follow me to the chicken coops and I'll show you another needle-bearing tree that drops its needles.

7 Sharkey, follow me to the chicken coops and I'll show you another needle-bearing tree that drops its needles.

This is a metasequoia, or dawn redwood.

8 This is a metasequoia, or dawn redwood.

This tree was once one of the most widespread tree species in the Northern hemisphere and then it vanished and was thought to be extinct for millions of years.

9 This tree was once one of the most widespread tree species in the Northern hemisphere and then it vanished and was thought to be extinct for millions of years.

Then, in 1947, a Chinese forester found a strange deciduous tree he had never seen before in a remote area in Southwest China.

10 Then, in 1947, a Chinese forester found a strange deciduous tree he had never seen before in a remote area in Southwest China.

It turned out to be the long lost metasequoia and has since then been spread everywhere in the world.  In fact, we have many at the farm.

11 It turned out to be the long lost metasequoia and has since then been spread everywhere in the world. In fact, we have many at the farm.

Sharkey, let me show you yet another conifer that loses its leaves in the autumn.

12 Sharkey, let me show you yet another conifer that loses its leaves in the autumn.

This specimen is a larch and as you can see, it's quite bare already.

13 This specimen is a larch and as you can see, it's quite bare already.

Franny, these needles aren't as fluffy as the bald cypress and metasequoia.  In fact they're quite needle-like.

14 Franny, these needles aren't as fluffy as the bald cypress and metasequoia. In fact they're quite needle-like.

All this dropping of needles in autumn makes no sense to me.  Shouldn't they retain their needles to stay warm for the winter?

15 All this dropping of needles in autumn makes no sense to me. Shouldn't they retain their needles to stay warm for the winter?

Comments (12)

  • ..thanks for the tree info..no trees around my neck of the woods that drop their needles..just the leaves come off..if any of my fellow glue squaders have family or friends that served or are serving in the military..thank you!..James was a Sgt. in Marines during the Viet Nam era...it is late and I must zip outside and then eat a cookie and go to bed..over and out, love, Chewy

  • Good Morning F & S

    We have leaves, needles and branches coming down all over the place! Yesterday was really windy in our neck of the woods. I was getting a good laugh looking out the window at the guy next door. He was blowing leaves and the wind was blowing them right back at him - too funny!

    What a great weekend. Mom was home cleaning and organizing her office all day Saturday. I supervised the job and it turned out really nice. Sunday she went grocery shopping and brought home all kinds of new stuff - gluten free. She is reading this new book Wheat Belly and wants to try and eliminate as much wheat as possible in her diet. I'm afraid if she keeps reading all these foodie books she'll be down to wine and water! Oh well.......

    I want to thank all the men and woman who serve in our military for keeping us safe. Happy Veterans Day!!

    Zoe

  • :-) Well F&S, I learned something new again! Very interesting about some needle trees losing their needles, never knew that before. On our travels and even in town here, we see there are many Pine Trees dying.
    Today is Veterans Day and hubby is off doing ceremonies, I'll meet up with him to unveil our new monuments. Nov 4th hubby always celebrates his second Birthday so to speak, he was the lone survivor running over a 500lb mine. (You can see the webpage I made for him)
    Thank You all who served, and God Bless you and the USA! Chewy, tell James Thank You! ;-)
    Have a Great day and enjoy everything we have...especially our Freedom.

    We are expecting snow today!
    delia & Kitty =^. .^=

  • Good morning everyone
    Veteran's Day today. My human brother, Karen's son Scott, is
    a Command Sargent Major in the U.S. Army. He just came back from a year in Kuwait. That was his third deployment. I put my paw up in salute to all the military veterans in all branches of service. Thank you each and every one of you for keeping us safe.
    GK, did you have a good birthday? I hope so my son.
    Girls, I think we should have a contest. Yes, we should all guess how many different trees are on the property at the farm. But Franny and Sharkey, you will have to go around the farm and write down all the different trees. Use the Kawasaki, it will go faster. Hehehehehe
    Love to all,
    Maddox

  • Hi F,S,&GK+ Glue Squad, WOW! You two beautiful girls sure had fun wondering all around Martha's beautiful Bedrord farm and enjoying seeing all of those amazing needles falling from those amazing trees! That's really fun to see! We have cedar and fur trees, but they never loose all of their needles like yours do! Martha sure does have a beautiful farm and I so enjoy seeing you sweet girls traveling all around the farm! Where is handsome GK? I just love seeing those beautiful photos of him that you shared with us last Friday on his 4th birthday! Please hug him for me again! Chewy, you are a sweetheart! Please hug lovely Black Mama for me again! Zoe, glad you had a great weekend! We had a great one too! Mom finally got my oldest uncle to go to a new place to live so we now have 4 adults and me here! It's a lot more comfortable! Delia, Happy Birthday to your hubby! Please hug sweet Kitty for me! Maddox, Mom said none of her relatives were army men and we thank all those who protected us over the years! Hope to hear from the rest of you buddies soon! Love, Dudley Do Right XOXOXO+

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    We have southern yellow pine trees around here and they keep their needles all year around. They do drop the old ones and they are everywhere. I noticed yesterday that my neighbor has piles of them in their yard. Funny thing abut that is that they don’t have any pine trees in their yard. What’s that Daddy? Oh, its ground cover for the plants. Gee, what we rake up and throw away some people buy and put on the ground. I think I can see a little business plan forming here. Now who do I get 400 pine trees in my yard and how long will it take for them to grow? Done the math and I don’t have that long to live; Daddy said it would take 20 years before those trees would make that much pine straw.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hi Y'all,
    Excellent lesson on trees this morning. Needles and leaves are raining down today in our neck of the woods. By tomorrow, the temps will be plummeting and they said we had a chance to see snow flurries! Nothing expected out of it though. Too early here for any accumulating snow although it has happened before. Took a big branch out of the Japanese Maple because the leaves had not yet released. Mis said it was heartbreaking. That tree is still wonky!
    I and the entire gang here wish to send out a grand THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU!! to all our veterans. We keep them in our hearts and minds all the time and are humbled that they make and have made it their life to protect our freedoms.
    Kirby watch out for chiggers in all that pine straw!
    Have a Doggy Good Day
    Dixie Boy

  • Hello Girls & all my Glue Squad Buddies,
    Happy Veteran's Day and thank you to all who have and are serving our country. We heard something recently and it is soooo true. Freedom doesn't come free, and that was said from a veteran, and it is so true. Thank you to all!!!

    And now for this Bald Cypress tree, I have never seen one. Here in Colorado, we have many evergreens and the only Fall color much, are the aspens. Love your Cypress and love how you girls are dressed, very stylin' for Fall.

    Now, today is a busy day for me. I am helping the folks pack and cook for the mountains. I know I will like it and as long as Mom and Dad are with me, it will be a PARTY.

    Dudley, so happy you will have more room for everyone. I can just see you and Mama Jan with her cup of coffee, sitting in front of the wood stove, enjoying a brisk evening. You take such good care of her.

    Better get busy. Have a GEM of a day all.
    Love and licks,
    Ruby

  • Good morning everybody!
    We had such a crazy house last week that we neglected to even check in and say hi...we have our tails between our legs and beg everyones forgiveness.
    1st Happy belated birthday to GK! You are one magnificent boy! Ruby GEM, hope your wondering days are over. Franny & Sharky, thanks for all the wonderful photos last week. How are things in your neck of the woods Maddox? Zoe, we helped mom clean this weekend too. She said she had to do it this weekend cause she has 2 big catering jobs coming up this week. Hope she is doing more than just making sweet treats...we like it when there is meat involved cause we ususally get a little bite if there is...The Chiweenies and Mr. Mayer's favorite little human, Jaime Grace is with us this morning so I better sign off so I can go get some snuggle time with her before her mom gets back....Happy Veterans Day to all...especially you James..we love ya
    Chloe, The Queen Chiweenie

  • Hello all you GS buddies out there:
    Lots of fall colour up here, but most of it has fallen off the trees (and onto our lawn). Not really, we have been raking forever, Mom says that next year we are going to get a leaf blower/vacuum which will make short work of all our leaves! Well here is the EXCITING news - Mr. Riley Boy has graduated - not that it wasn't a bit touch and go at times, but he made some excellent decisions and managed to plant his butt on the floor for the required time to pass the class! So, Mom calls him our graduate dog (I don't know why Mom thinks he is so special, both Lucy and I also went to school, Lucy went to Grade 1 (twice!) and I finished Grade 3! That's all the news that is fit to print today. Love and Beardie bounces to all, Martha, Miz Lu and Riley boy.

  • "Leaf" me alone! :)

    My home is surrounded by leaf dropping trees! I believe the trees are oak or maple. I have at least 40 or so! Which equals billions of leaves!

    It is kind of sad when the last leaf falls and all that is left is bare trees. It's kind of eery during the dark long cold Winter months. Then come May the new buds are soon sprouting.

    Aw, the life cycle of a tree!

    Thanks for the informative blog girly girls!
    gail

  • ..congrats to Riley..love, Chewy and the gang

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