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Pine Cones – 1-gallon bag
Female pine cones are hard and are a dark brown color. These cones have a wood-like stalk that is surrounded by overlapping, firm, shingle-like scales. Behind these firm scales are bracts which are tiny, flat modified leaves. These bracts could possibly be hidden but it depends on the tree species. These bracts could be hidden inside the cone or it could be extended far beyond the scales on the cones. The male cones are smaller in comparison of the female cones and they grow sometimes singly or they can grow in groups but it depends on the species. These cones tend to be found on the lower part of the branches. The male cones unfortunately wither and dies away shortly after they release their pollen in the spring time. Their pollen may dry up and remain stuck on the trees for several months. Usually most pine cones only take about two years to mature. The other evergreen pine cones can mature in the same year that they are fertilized. The pine buds grow in the spring time and produce male cone clusters at bases of new twigs. Female cones happen to come much later as the twigs already starts to grow. The small droplike female cones are soft, green and a purplish red color. The scale on these cones are apart. When these trees are set to be pollinated they start to secrete small amounts of liquid that gathers up in the narrow cracks in between the scales of the cones. As this is happening, the fully grown male pine cone released a heavy dust of yellow pollen. Pine cones tend to rely on wind pollination. Huge amounts of pollen are released into the air and winds which has a habit of accumulating on the ponds, grounds, roads, cars and even the female cones.
Pine cones are becoming increasingly popular these days because more and more homeowners are going for the rustic feel or rustic charm in their home or for their décor. Pine cones are used for decorations. They can be painted, dipped in glue and then bird food for the birds to feed off of or they can be placed into a basket and add a touch of incense oil or potpourri to make a room smell great. There are many different things that one can do with these.