A tree species belonging to one of the four botanical subgroups of the gymnosperms, containing about 50 genera with about 570 species. Conifers have secondary thickening (ie. true wood), cones and needle-like, narrowly linear or scale-like leaves. Conifers are sometimes called softwoods.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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