Needleleaf forests grow mainly in regions that have long, cold winters. These forests, which are also called softwood forests, stretch across Canada, northern Europe, and Siberia. Many firs, larches, and spruces grow in these northern forests, along with a few broadleaf trees, such as birches and willows. Some willows grow even farther north than needleleaf trees do. But they seldom reach more than shrub size. Needleleaf forests also blanket slopes in such mountain ranges as the Alps and the Rocky Mountains.

The Canadian needleleaf forests extend southward into the Western United States, where they include many of the world's largest trees. Many California redwoods tower over 300 feet (91 meters). Tall Douglas-firs also grow in the Western United States.

A few needleleaf forests grow in warmer regions. For example, the Southeastern United States has large forests of pines, such as loblolly pines and longleaf pines. These forests provide great quantities of wood for lumber and wood pulp.
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