Deciduous vs Evergreen Trees
Plant kingdom consists of thousands of different plant types, which have very diverse characteristics. The plants are categorized based on these characteristics. Deciduous and evergreen are two opposite types of trees. They are categorized based on the pattern and seasonality of foliage growth. Plants in between deciduous and evergreen are known as semi deciduous.
What are deciduous trees?
Deciduous refer to trees, which seasonally shed their unnecessary parts especially the leaves from their structure. Most of them are broad leaves trees. Because of the structure of leaves and the pattern of leaf arrangement, the effectiveness of photosynthesis is very much high in deciduous trees. But it has both positive and negative effects compared to other types of trees. Because of the broad leaf structure, deciduous trees are very much susceptible to windy and winter weather conditions. Therefore, falling of those unnecessary leaves are needed during bad weather conditions. It ensures not only a better survival in winter weather conditions but also high water conservation and protection against predatory actions. Deciduous characteristics can be frequently observed in most of the woody plants (oak, maple), shrubs (honeysuckle) and in temperate woody vines (grapes). There are two characteristic deciduous forests where the majority of the trees shed their foliage at the end of their typical growing season. They are namely temperate deciduous forests and tropical (and subtropical) deciduous forests. Trees in temperate deciduous forests are sensitive to the seasonal temperature variations, whereas the other type responds to seasonal rainfall patterns. Therefore, the growing, leaf shedding and dormancy occurring periods are varying with the type.
What are evergreen trees?
Evergreen is totally in contrast to deciduous. As the name evergreen describes, evergreen tree’s foliage persists throughout the year. There is no seasonal leaf shedding as happening in deciduous trees. Evergreen plants have a huge deviation within them where most of the conifers and angiosperms are included. Hemlock, cycads, oak, and eucalypts are some of the examples for different evergreen trees. Although there is no any seasonal leaf shed, old leaves of evergreen tees are replaced by new grown once with the ageing of those trees. Warm temperate climatic conditions are very much favored by evergreens. Often, tropical rainforests are considered as evergreen forests.
What is the difference between Deciduous and Evergreen Trees?
• Opposite of deciduous is known as evergreen where foliage persist throughout the entire year.
• Deciduous trees are adapted to tolerate the cold and dry weather conditions by shedding their leaves seasonally, whereas evergreens do not.
• Evergreens can survive under low nutrient levels in the soil. But a huge portion of internal nutrients is removed during the defoliation in deciduous trees.
• Nutrient requirement of evergreens is somewhat high during bad weather conditions due to need of the foliage maintenance. But in the case of deciduous plants it is high after the harsh time because of renewal of the foliage.
• Deciduous plants are more sensitive to changes in temperature and rain fall than evergreen plants.