June 10, 2011

A Walk in the Woods: The Spring Burst of Conifer Growth

I love to see the new growth of conifers in the spring; it looks so insistently fresh and new. On the spruces (I believe this is a spruce), there are little bud-like forms which are at first sheathed in a brown papery skin. As the needles grow larger, the brown covering pops off...

and the small bright green packages of furled needles look like decorations on a Christmas tree.

The intense yellow-green new growths on pine trees, rising above the rest of the tree, are appropriately called candles. I can imagine this as a grand candelabra, lighting a large room.

In their remarkable vigor, standing like flaming fingers, the pine candles are a sparkling celebration of the new growth of spring.


  1. yes, that springing forth of conifer growth is a delight. Thanks for making notice of it.

  2. It is a delight, isn't it, Maggie? thanks for the comment.

  3. They do have a distinctive candle form, don't they? This week Mark will be "candling" our evergreens — pulling off that new growth to keep the trees smaller and in scale with our garden.