Trees Please Hamilton

Green Solutions to Air Pollution

TREE TUESDAY: Loving our Conifers!

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A study that came out in 2015 looking at evergreens and their absorption of particulate matter.  This study found that while most evergreens were able to filter out PM there were a few pines and cedars that did a better job of cleaning our air.  Click here for link to the study.

All year air cleaning is not the only reason why we love our conifers!

We have listed three that we think are pretty great.

Eastern White Pines (Pinus strobus)
These tall majestic trees can live up to 400 years old but more commonly live up to 200 years.  Good seed crops aren’t produced until trees are 20 or 30 years old, and then only every 3 to 5 years.  Click here for the reference.
A little tip to help identify the white pine: one needle for each letter of its first name:
Eastern White Cedars (Thuja occidentalis)
Along the Niagara Escarpment, a number of ancient trees have been found including two 500-year-old Eastern White Cedars found at Webster’s Falls.  Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Fund writes about the growing conditions of these trees that grow out of the escarpment:

The Eastern White Cedar is a slow-growing and hardy tree, and the trees found along the Escarpment cliffs are indeed smaller and appear almost shrub like, twisted and gnarled due to the growing conditions. The harsh environment has impacted their growth and size, implying that a tree could be hundreds of years old with a circumference of a few centimeters. Activities such as recreational rock climbing can disturb germination sites by removing dirt from ledges that may be used as holds, and by damaging remaining trees in the process. Click here for the reference.

Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Another beautiful evergreen us the Eastern Hemlock can live for up to 600 years.
Hemlock trees are members of the pine family and are not responsible for the poisoning of Socrates. That villain was an herbaceous plant related to parsnips. (click here for the reference)

There are so many evergreens that we adore.

We would love to hear about the conifers in your life as part of our LOVE YOUR CONIFER campaign.  Take a moment and share your story!  Email our Trees Please project with a story and photo.

Look at these conifers and how they remain green all year round, providing some colour on otherwise gray days.


Author: treespleasehamilton

A project of the Hamilton Naturalists' Club and Environment Hamilton. Funding by Ontario Trillium Foundation.

One thought on “TREE TUESDAY: Loving our Conifers!

  1. Thanks again for the great hike. Was happy to see an Alternate-Leaf Dogwood for the first time!


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