Why Do Evergreens Stay Green All Year Round?

Christmas Trees Delivered

Evergreens are a beacon of hope in the middle of winter, something green amid the gray skies and white landscapes. But why? How are they able to stay green while deciduous trees (oaks, maples, birch, etc.) lose their leaves in the fall?

Both evergreens and deciduous trees get their green color from chlorophyll, which is required for photosynthesis, the process which plants use to make their food. It requires both sunlight and water. In the fall, when days get short, and less sunlight is available, deciduous trees lose their chlorophyll, the green fades, and the color show begins. But as the leaves dry out, the fading continues, and the leaves eventually drop.

Most evergreens come from northern climates, and their needles are an adaptation. Botanists long ago discovered that needles are actually regular leaves that are rolled up very tightly to conserve water. They also have a very waxy coating that also helps save water during summer and winter. Because this adaptation allows evergreens to preserve their chlorophyll, they continue photosynthesis later into the season, but once the ground freezes, the lack of water stops photosynthesis anyway. The waxy coating protects them from the cold and wind, which helps them maintain the water and chlorophyll in the needles, so even though the trees are dormant, they maintain their rich, green color.

At Premium Christmas Wreaths, we offer a wide range of evergreen trees, including Balsam Fir, White Pine, and the classic Douglas Fir. To help our customers get exactly the right tree for their home, we offer Christmas tree delivery to the entire continental United States. If you’re already planning next year’s festivities, be sure to bookmark our site and drop by when our store reopens!

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