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February 2020: Who says tree gazing isn't good in the winter? When viewing a forest in winter, coniferous trees stand out -- White and Red Cedar,  Eastern White Pine and Hemlock. Trees of large size are also easy to spot. Beech and species of Oak are noticeable since they retain their leaves over winter.

There are a number of small White Pine trees throughout this forest.
Sycamore trees with their beautiful mottled white bark, and seed balls make a lovely showing in winter. Kentucky Coffee Tree is easily recognized by its large, leathery seed pods which persist over the winter. Shagbark Hickory with its beautiful shaggy bark is beautiful any time of the year, also Beech with its smooth silvery bark. The umbrella shape of White Elm makes it easy to spot anytime of the year.

Beautiful Sycamore in winter.

A group of White Elm

If you notice a tree, particularly a young tree, with  leaves that have turned colour, but are still on the tree during winter, it is probably a species of oak or a beech tree.
Marcescence is the term for "withering but retention" of leaves. But why are leaves retained over winter??? Check out this website:


A young Hill's Oak in February

Finally, watch for Tamarack, a deciduous coniferous tree, which loses its needles in winter. Many people would think these trees are dead, but the needles will return in the spring! Larch, Bald Cypress and Dawn Redwood are all deciduous coniferous trees.

A row of Tamarack in winter. Note the row of Eastern White Pine behind, and Eastern White Cedar in front.

Comments and suggestions are welcome:


All photographs by A. Sawyer and family, Long Point, Ontario, Canada.

The logo photograph was taken on Long Point, Ontario, Canada in 2016.

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