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Nov 17, 2021 6:01 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
Can You Guess What It Is?

Here is a hint. This is attached to the twig of a Scotch (Scots) pine tree (Pinus sylvestris). The twig itself is bare and many people believe the tree has dropped its needles. But instead this is where the pollen cones were attached, and this is the last pollen cone clinging to the twig.

Thumb of 2020-11-15/lauriemorningglory/efb621
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Nov 17, 2021 6:18 PM CST
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Sempervivums Lilies Hybridizer
Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Pollen collector Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Very interesting. Thanks for the explanation Laurie. I would have guessed dropped needles but then I don't know a lot about trees.
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Nov 17, 2021 7:41 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
Cool banner Laurie!
As Yogi Berra said, β€œIt's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
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Nov 17, 2021 9:16 PM CST
Zone 5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
Great trivia info banner and perfect horizontal fit.
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Nov 17, 2021 9:28 PM CST
Name: Zoia Bologovsky
Stoneham MA (Zone 6a)
Azaleas Region: Massachusetts Organic Gardener Daylilies Cat Lover Bulbs
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I'm somehow reminded of asparagus Blinking
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Nov 18, 2021 10:17 AM CST
Name: Elizabeth
Ann Arbor, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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Very cool subject matter. Well done.
I post high resolution photos (nature, travel, and other subjects) on smugmug
https://arctangent.smugmug.com...
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Nov 18, 2021 12:17 PM CST
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
I thought it might be a cluster of bugs.
Never occurred to me it's a pine cone! 😜

Do you have a pic of the tree?

Good job! Thumbs up
Learn and/or create something every day.

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Nov 18, 2021 6:06 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
I think this is the original image. Some years the conditions are perfect for producing numerous pollen cones. After the cones drop, the bare areas are quite noticeable. Folks wonder what they can spray to kill the "bug" that ate the needles. Thinking

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Nov 18, 2021 8:44 PM CST
Name: TT
MS Gulf Coast
Bromeliad Composter Container Gardener
Laurie, thanks for interesting, informative banner.

I did research for a garden club presentation.

We were all surprised that there are male and female pine cones.

Is the pollen cone similar to a pine cone?

I can see where people think a bug ate the leaves!
Last edited by hiyall Nov 18, 2021 8:45 PM Icon for preview
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Nov 20, 2021 3:54 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
Here's a few more pictures of pine cones.

These are the pollen (male) cones of Vanderwolf pine. This was taken in springtime. New needles are just beginning to grow at the tip of the twig.
Thumb of 2021-11-20/lauriemorningglory/c52ea6

I took the next 3 pictures today (Nov 20). This first picture shows a central bud (which will be the new pine shoot in spring) and surrounding it are pollen cones (male cones) that have a reddish, papery covering to protect them until spring. This is a ponderosa pine.
Thumb of 2021-11-20/lauriemorningglory/770447

Here is another branch on the ponderosa pine showing a bud (upper left) and an immature female cone (lower right). These little cones on ponderosa have sharp prickles-- some folks call them "baby porcupines." Hilarious!
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Here is a closer shot of the ponderosa pine cones--one is split open. You can see the sharp prickles, too.
Thumb of 2021-11-20/lauriemorningglory/1c6c1b

And this is an immature female cone (lower structure) on a Scotch pine (along with three buds). On Scotch the female cones curl down (or backwards) along the twig. These are much smaller than the ponderosa pine cones.
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Nov 20, 2021 3:59 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
Thank you to all of you for your likes, comments and acorns! This has been a fun exercise--I know a little about pines, but it was interesting to go out and observe the current state of the cones and get a few pictures. Smiling
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Nov 20, 2021 4:08 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
@hiyall TT, The similarity is mainly in the shape: "cone-shaped." Male cones are just very small. The have "scales" like a female cone, but they are papery rather than woody.

Here is a picture of some old male cones--note that they have elongated. I assume that on some pine species, the male cones elongate and on others they don't. This is on a ponderosa pine. Usually the male cones fall off during the growing season after they have released their pollen, but in this picture, the cones are still attached---I think because the shoot above them died.

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Nov 20, 2021 10:23 PM CST
Name: Cal McGaugh
Escondido, California (Zone 10b)
You know waaaay more about pines than I do, that's for sure! I tip my hat to you.
Great info & images. Thumbs up
Learn and/or create something every day.

Our Duck Pond The thread "Pool to Natural Pond Conversion" in Ponds and Water Gardening forum
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Nov 21, 2021 9:12 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
Thanks, Cal! I do like trees. And thanks for the extra acorns, too. Smiling
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Nov 23, 2021 5:19 PM CST
Name: TT
MS Gulf Coast
Bromeliad Composter Container Gardener
Thanks Laurie for pretty puzzle pic!
Thanks for interesting information and pictures of male & female cones

You opened my eyes to more seek and find on exercise nature walks!

Thank You!
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Nov 23, 2021 6:21 PM CST
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Irises Butterflies Bee Lover Bulbs Cat Lover Region: Nebraska
You are welcome, TT. Smiling
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