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What is a deciduous tree?

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Quick Answer

A deciduous tree is a tree that loses its leaves in autumn and goes dormant for the winter months. Deciduous trees can be found almost anywhere, all around the world.

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In warmer regions, deciduous trees lose their leaves during the dry season instead of during winter. Trees like maple, oak and apple are examples of deciduous trees as are most hardwood and fruit-bearing trees. An exception to this rule are evergreens, because the needles remain on the trees year round.

The dormant period that a deciduous tree passes through each year helps the tree survive because the short daylight hours in northern climates and dry weather in tropical climates do not allow the tree to effectively undergo photosynthesis.

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