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Pine Needle Hardiness

Pine Needle Hardiness

January 23, 2020

Falling leaves are synonymous with Autumn but that often means we overlook the evergreens. Evergreens keep their leaves throughout the year. Pines are a common evergreen found in the area and can be used for this simple experiment. How long can an evergreen survive without water and do other fluids provide enough water for the plant to live? Test this out and find out!

Items Needed:

  • Real evergreen branches (Small)
  • 4 Mason jars
  • Labels or tape
  • Pencil and paper
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Plain Coffee


  1. Fill each of the Mason jars with one of the following: Plain water, Saltwater, coffee, and vinegar.
  2. Label each jar with the name of the liquid.
  3. Put a pine branch into each of the Mason jars and place the jars in a sunny window. Wait for a week and check back in on them.
  4. Observe the pine needles and make note of any changes to the pine branches. Are they dry? Are any of them brown? Do you need to add any more water?
  5. Wait another week and see what happens. How long do you think the branches will remain green?

This experiment demonstrates the hardiness of evergreen trees. Some varieties of trees are resistant to salt so the results of this test should be very interesting! Even coffee can keep some of the branches green. You can try this test with other liquids to see what causes the branches to wither. Remember to document your findings as you learn a little more about trees! Try this with spruce, fir or pine trees to see what kind of differences occur between the species.


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