Conifer – evergreen tree
Conifers are a group of trees and shrubs that produce cones. Most conifers are evergreens. There are more than 550 types of conifer. Some of the most well-known are cedars, cypresses, firs, junipers, larches, pines, redwoods, and yews.
Conifers grow all over the world. They have woody trunks and may be low shrubs or very tall trees. Their thin leaves look like needles and a waxy coating keeps them from losing water. Conifers grow cones instead of flowers or fruits. Some types grow male and female cones on the same tree. The female cones are larger and grow on the upper branches, while the male cones tend to grow on the lower branches. Others types have male or female cones on separate trees.
The redwood trees in California are the tallest trees in the world. Some of them are taller than 110 meters. The giant sequoias are the heaviest conifers. The pygmy pines of New Zealand are the smallest of all conifers, because they grow to only 5 centimeters tall.
Bristlecone pines are the oldest living things on Earth.
People have used the wood of conifers for thousands of years. Ancient peoples built great sailing ships, made long bows. Today people use it to make houses and furniture. People also use pines, firs, spruces, and other conifers as Christmas trees.
The air in the coniferous forest contains eight to nine times less bacteria compared to birch groves. The content of vitamin C in needles can be 600 mg in winter and drop to 250 mg in summer. If you store needles for one month at a temperature of 5 ° C, the vitamin level will not change. Conifers are widely used both in traditional and in folk medicine. To prepare ointments, tinctures, oils and many other preparations, all parts of the plant are used: bark, needles, cones, pollen, branches. Preparations based on coniferous plants are used in the treatment of neuralgia, pyelonephritis, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, insomnia, arthritis, recovery from strokes, bronchial diseases.
Firs are valued for their wood and are popular as Christmas trees. There are more than 40 species of fir. Firs grow in moist, cool areas of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. Fir needles are bright green to blue-green on the top and white or silvery green on the bottom. Fir cones stand up on the branches like candles and may be purple, brown, or green. Wood is used in the production of musical instruments: violins, guitars, mandolins, cellos, grand pianos and harps. The great masters Amati and Stradivari created their famous violins from fir.