Design of Evergreen Trees

Design of Evergreen Trees

We take for granted that the simple things around us are just the way they are without realizing the wisdom and design they display. A classic example is the design of evergreen trees such as pines, spruces, and firs. Why are these conifers shaped differently from deciduous trees such as oaks and maples? The answer is that the design of evergreen trees is an example of incredible planning and wisdom. Their design gives these northern trees some built-in characteristics that allow them to exist.

The shape of the conifers is pyramidal, which is unique among plants. That shape allows sunlight to reach all of the tree’s branches. Since those trees often grow in cold areas, the shape also prevents excessive amounts of snow from building up on the top branches causing them to break. Evergreen trees tend to have a shallower root structure than deciduous trees, and wind resistance on the upper part of the tree would tend to topple it. The pyramid shape reduces wind resistance.

Instead of having leaves, the design of evergreen trees means they have narrow needles, which also reduce wind resistance compared to broad leaves. The branches are layered with space between the layers allowing wind to pass through. Since those trees often grow in northern areas where the angle of sunlight is low, the layered branches also allow the sunlight to reach into all of the branches. The needles reduce water loss compared to leaves so that the trees can survive in dry areas.

An evolutionist is constrained to believe that adaptations like this are lucky accidents. But as we understand the complex system of the world around us, the models that depend on luck become less believable. In the words of Romans 1:18-20, we can know there is a God through the things He has made. The Bible presents trees as God’s tools to sustain human life in the past, present, and future. (See Genesis 1:8-9 and Revelation 22:1-2.)

— John N. Clayton © 2020