For those of you scratching your heads, conifers are trees with needle-like leaves, such as pines, spruces, firs, etc. They usually are evergreens, meaning they drop only about 1/3 of their needles each year; however, there are a few (larches, for example) that drop all of their needles every year like other deciduous trees (think oaks and aspens). But they're still conifers! Just a fun fact for your Friday.
|These larches aren't dead - they're conifers that drop all of their leaves (needles) each fall.|
The conifers on our roof are all evergreens. So if they're not green right now, it's not a good sign. We have had a few apparent or near casualties amongst the conifers so far this spring - 3 of the dozen or so that are out there are looking a little dry and winter burnt.
We don't know if that's what hit some of our conifers on the green roof, or if it's something else. But we won't yank the poor things out yet. We'll wait to see if they recover over the next year or two - they might look a little shabby but we'll give them a chance to get back to their green glory (like the other trees below).
Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute