We have been on the lookout for tree cones for the past few weeks (as part of the Winter Tree Cone Study) and picked the Ponderosa Pine as our subject for a tree cone study. There are many Ponderosa Pines in our neighborhood and they are easy to spot because of their size and trunk pattern. Our family has done a thorough tree study of the Ponderosa Pine in the past but this time we focused just on the cone.
Here is a close up of the cone showing it’s scale pattern and the sap too.
Here is a cone that the squirrels have taken apart to find the seeds hidden inside. This is a common sight along our local walking trail. It seems where there are Ponderosa Pines, there are squirrels.
I completed the tree cone observation page for my nature notebook. I included an image and some facts about the Ponderosa Pine cone. You can find the printable notebook page here: Winter Tree Cone Study.
- Flexible scales
- Egg shaped cone
- Tipped with slender 1/8 inch prickles that can curve out
- Seed is 3/8″ and the wing is 1″
- Red and gray squirrels eat the seeds. California quail also eat the seeds.
- Overall cone length is 3-6″
All information is from my Peterson Western Trees field guide.