The Q&A Archives: Norway Spruce Pine Cones Look Like Corn Cobs

Question: i have several norway spruce (40 yrs old each) and this past month have noticed that the pine cones are falling to the ground completely stripped, looking just like eaten corn cobs. could this be from an animal, insect, fungus, etc..?? this is the first time they have ever done this. no other part of the trees have been affected. any answers would be greatly appreciated.. thanks

Answer: Based on your description it sounds like either an animal or bird has been eating the fresh seeds out of cone, sort of like fresh corn off the cob, or there is a possibly an insect infestation of some kind. For example, spruce moth larvae (Cydia strobilella) will eat through the seeds all summer and can be found in the cone axis by late summer or early fall. You might want to consult with your county extension as to what is happening and whether or not you need to take any action to protect the trees.

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