What Are the Features of Temperate Evergreen Forests?


Temperate coniferous or evergreen forests exist in places that have warm summers and cool winters. Vegetation consists of evergreen trees that bear cones and needles with a variety of understory trees and shrubs. The location of the forest determines the amount of precipitation. Temperate evergreen forests in lower latitudes have evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year.

Commonly found in coastal areas where winters are mild and rainfall is abundant, these forests also exist in mountainous areas with drier climates. Temperate evergreen forests can be found in the lower latitudes of Canada and the United States, Europe and Asia. They are found below the regions of the northern boreal forest and tundra. These forests are generally made up of an overstory and an understory. Temperate coniferous forests with large trees, including giant sequoias and redwoods, exist in western North America, southwestern South America, southeastern Australia and northern New Zealand.

Temperate evergreen forests support an understory with shrubs and grasses that play important roles during wildfires. The overstory consists of either primarily broadleaf evergreen trees or primarily needle-leafed evergreens. Pine, cedar, spruce and fir are among the trees found in temperate evergreen forests. Regions where temperate evergreen forests exist usually have well-defined seasons with at least four to six frost-free months.