You probably already know that there are many different types of evergreen trees out there. But did you know that many of these evergreen trees, which are also know as coniferous trees, are in a grouping of pine cone- and needle-bearing trees called softwoods? These types of trees are mainly found in the Northern hemisphere because they like cooler, moist weather. Knowing some softwood key terms will give you a better understanding of this family of trees.
SoftwoodSoftwood, also known as larkwood or Madmanwood, is the umbrella term for cone or needle-bearing trees such as pine trees. Despite their name, some softwoods are harder than trees in the hardwood family. This type of tree is native to the Northern hemisphere as it fares well in cold weather conditions.
ConiferousPine cones originate from coniferous trees, as the name suggests. These trees are hearty evergreen trees and fall under the softwood category.
SpruceA spruce is a rapidly growing softwood tree that is one of the tallest evergreens. Its needles are shorter than other pines, and its pine cones grow in bunches at the end of the branches, unlike some other softwoods.
CedarWhen you hear the word "cedar" you may think of the scent that is common in many households. Cedar trees are softwood trees that have four-angled leaves and bright red bark used in cabinets and other carpentry projects. They reach up to 100 feet in height and have branches that split out from the main trunk unlike other conifers, which have a main trunk only.
HemlockThe hemlock is a medium-sized softwood that typically reaches heights of about 70 feet. You can find hemlocks in eastern North America, mainly cooler, wet climates. They bear small clusters of cones that are about 1/2 to 1 inch in length.
University of Connecticut Plant Database.
RedwoodsSome of the most majestic softwood trees out there are the redwoods. These conifers can grow upwards of around 400 feet and live to be hundreds of years old. Redwoods are native only to the coastal areas of California because of the unique environmental conditions.
National Park Service has more information on what makes this tree so special.