- A tree starts out as a tiny seed. With soil, moisture, and warmth, the seed becomes a seedling.
- As it gets bigger, the young tree is called a sapling.
- The tree gets taller and thicker every year. At last it is full grown.
- When it gets very old, the tree dies. As it decays, it turns into soil again, and becomes food for new trees to grow.
Minnesota is the proud home of one of the rare exceptions to the "rule" that conifers are also evergreens. The tamarack, found in the sprawling peat bogs of the north, bears its seeds in cones but sheds all of its needles in the winter.