Definition - What does Conifer mean?
Conifer is a term used to describe a variety of trees and shrubs. The term owes its roots to Latin and literally means 'cone-bearing'.
As an aboriculture term, conifer is used to describe trees and shrubs that form a cone for the purpose of reproduction. Though conifers are a group of gymnosperm plants that are mostly evergreen, these terms cannot be used interchangeably as there are some differences between the two.
MaximumYield explains Conifer
All conifers are woody plants and can be identified with their needle-like or scale-like leaves. Given that most conifers are forms of evergreen trees and shrubs, it's tempting to use the term as synonyms as the leaf structure of conifers are suitable to withstand harsh winters but there are a few conifers that are deciduous.
There are around 800 varieties of conifers around the globe. While there are some conifer shrubs, conifers are found in all parts of the world and are mostly present in the form of trees. These plants are known for their economic value and are commonly used for the purpose of producing timber and paper. They are also known to be the majority of biomass in the Northern Hemisphere.
Along with economical value, conifers also have ecological benefits. A conifer has the ability to mitigate carbon from the atmosphere. The trunks of conifers are equipped with the ability to store carbon for centuries. As a result, conifers are great for the ecosystem and due to their endurance they are among the oldest living plant varieties on earth.
There are seven families of conifers, which include: pinaceae, auricariaceae, podocarpaceae, sciadopityaceae, cupressaceae, cephalotaxaceae, and taxaceae. Conifer tree varieties are also known as the largest, oldest, wildest and tallest trees on earth, withstanding records in all these categories.