Trees that retain their foliage year round are called evergreen trees. From the polar regions to the tropics, there are trees or tree-like plants that hold onto foliage in a variety of shapes and textures. Leaves are still dropped from evergreen trees, but the amount of new, persistent leaves outnumber those that are shed when soil is seasonally dry or temperatures are cold.
Conifers, or cone-bearing trees, have evergreen foliage that is either needle-like in shape and form or scaled and linear. Needled evergreen examples include pine, spruce, fir, hemlock and yew. Scaled evergreens include junipers, false cypress and Japanese cedar, among others.
Broadleaf evergreen trees are those that have large, oval leaves, or simply do not have leaves that resemble needles or scales. Often broadleaf evergreens from temperate climates are glossy or waxy or leathery in texture to help retain moisture through winter. Tropical broadleaf evergreens possess a variety of leaf sizes and shapes. Some common broadleaf evergreen trees include the Southern magnolia, live oak, Japanese ligustrum and camellia.
Tropical broadleaf trees, such as the chocolate tree or soapberry from Tropical America, are most common where winters are mild and soil is always moist.
Although not true trees as defined by botanical growth processes in their trunks, palms commonly are dubbed "trees" because of their upright shape and large size. Palms retain their fanlike or featherlike fronds year around. Examples include the coconut palm, date palm, Florida cabbage palm, bottle palm and windmill palm.
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