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Conifers are also known as evergreeens, needle-leafed trees, or softwoods. Mature coniferous trees generally have a straight central trunk with short branches which spread to form a conical or columnar crown. The leaves are either very narrow compared to their length (needle-like), or small and scale like, with straight veins unconnected by cross veins. All conifers with the exception of larch, keep their green colour over winter and leaves are retained for two or more years.
Deciduous trees are also known as broad-leafed trees or as hardwoods. The form of deciduous trees varies, but the commonest has a broad rounded crown with branches often as long or longer than the short tapered trunk. The leaves are broad compared to their length, and are retained on the tree for only one season before being shed each fall.