How often do pine trees produce cones
Fun facts about pine cones
Dixie Sandborn, Michigan State University Extension -
Aside from their decorating uses, pinecones play an important role in nature. Like all plant parts, they have a very specific function in the plant world.Photo by Dixie Sandborn.
Pine cones are everywhere this time of year. We see them on wreaths, in baskets, door-swags, and of course on trees and the ground. I started to think about all the ways I have decorated with pine cones, and how bringing them in the house is a fun way to add a little nature to our indoor environments.
Aside from their decorating uses, pine cones play an important role in nature. Like all plant parts, they have a very specific function in the plant world.
Here are some fun facts from Michigan State University Extension about pine cones you might not have known:
- Pine cones only come from pine trees, although all conifers produce cones.
- Pine cones and pine trees belong to a group of plants called gymnosperms and date back to prehistoric times.
- Gymnosperms are a group of plants who have naked seeds, not enclosed in an ovary.
- The main function of a pine cone is to keep a pine tree’s seeds safe.
- Pine cones close their scales to protect the seeds from cold temperatures, wind and even animals that might try to eat them.
- Pine cones open up and release their seeds when it is warm and it is easier for the seed to germinate.
- Some pine cones, like that of the Jack Pine, need a fast hot fire to open and release their seeds. This is called the Jack Pine ecosystem.
- Pine cones can stay on tree for more than 10 years before dropping to the ground.
- All conifers produce male and female cones. Sometimes on the same tree, sometimes not. The pinecones we see are only the female cones. The male cones are much smaller and not showy. You may have never noticed them. The male cones release pollen, which drifts into the air and eventually finds and fertilizes the female cones.
- Pine nuts come from pine cones.
- Only 20 varieties of pine tree worldwide produce cones with large enough pine nuts for harvesting.
- Pinyon Pines, Pinus edulis (which only grow between 6,000 and 9,000 foot altitudes), offer the finest pine nuts in North America. Pinyon pines are native to the desert mountains of California, east to New Mexico and Texas, and north to Wyoming.
- The second part of Pinyon Pine's botanical name, edulis, means "edible" in Latin. It refers to the tasty seeds produced in its 2-inch, roundish, light brown cones that grow in clusters on very mature trees.
- Pine nuts are a good source of thiamine (B1), Vitamin K, magnesium, and protein. They are also one of the best natural sources for manganese, phosphorus and zinc.
- The pineal gland in the brain is named after pinecones because of it’s shape. The pineal gland controls our body’s perception of light, as well as our wake and sleep patterns. It has long been considered our biological “third eye” and “the epicenter of enlightenment.”
- Pine cones have been exalted in religious imagery for thousands of years.
- Ancient Romans also associated pine cones with Venus, Goddess of love and fertility.
Enjoy the season of pine cones!
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).
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When Do Pine Cones Fall? How to Use Them
Pine cones are a symbol of autumn. Scattering the woodland floor among crunchy fallen leaves and pine needles, a pine cone hunt can be rewarding for adults and children alike. Here are our tips on gathering pine cones and fun ways to use them.
When do pine cones fall?
Pine cones mostly fall to the ground in autumn, so can usually be found from September through to December. The best place to look for them is under conifer trees in woods, parks and gardens.
Look for pine cones scattering the floor beneath conifer trees.
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Pine seeds are a food source for wildlife including common crossbill, siskin, pine marten and red squirrel.
What is a pine cone?
Pine cones are the woody fruiting body and reproductive organ of pine trees.
Once pollinated, the tree's female cones develop as the seeds mature and are usually conical or round shaped. The individual plates on the cones, known as scales, keep the seeds safe from weather extremes and hungry animals, until seeds are mature and it's warm and dry enough to release them to grow into new trees.
Which trees grow pine cones?
Here in the UK, pine cones grow on several types of pine tree, including black pine and our only native species, Scots pine. These pine trees are from the conifer family. Conifers are a broad group that also includes spruces and firs. They are typically evergreen with cones and needle-like or scale-like leaves.
The UK has three native conifers:
- Scots pine has traditional pine cones
- Juniper cones have tiny fleshy scales and look more like berries
- Yew seeds are encased in arils which look like red, fleshy, berries open at the tip.
5 ways to use pine cones
1. Decorate your home
Pine cones can be used to create a whole host of decorations, no matter how artistic you are! Simply placing some in a vase or bowl can give your home a cosy ambience, especially if you combine them with other autumnal treasures. At Christmas, add fairy lights, tinsel or mini baubles for a festive feel.
If you’re more creative, you could make pine cone garlands, wreaths, baubles, table place names and much more. Keep them simple and rustic, or add paint and other craft materials for a colourful twist. Let your imagination run wild!
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2. Help wildlife
The time of fallen pine cones coincides with wildlife needing a little extra help to get through the colder months. Pine cone bird feeders are fun to make or you could create a pine cone palace for ladybirds, or add them to a bug hotel for other minibeasts.
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Used whole or broken up into smaller pieces, pine cones make a great organic mulch as they take a long time to break down. By laying them around your trees and flowerbeds, they’ll help soils retain moisture and suppress weeds – and they look good too. They’re also a good natural slug repellent, and provide useful habitat for spiders.
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4. Tasty snacks
Did you know pine seeds are edible? They can be eaten raw but are better roasted or toasted. Encourage your collected pine cones to open and reveal their seeds by keeping them warm and dry.
As with all our ideas for gathering and foraging from nature, please only take a small amount and leave plenty behind to fulfil its role in nature.
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5. Kids’ craft activities
Keep little ones entertained by making any number of pine cone characters and creatures, from elves and witches to owls and cows. Add twigs, coloured paper, felt or paints to make each piece unique.
Pine cone crafts can provide hours of fun.
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Forest tree fertility and seed collection
Autumn has come and now, along with regularly published data crop yields it is appropriate to provide an overview productivity of forest trees and the possibility of harvesting their seeds.
Text: Esko Krinal,
Head of the RMK Nursery and Seed Department
Translation from Estonian. The original article was published in the magazine Sinu Mets.
The seed yield of forest trees is unevenly distributed over the years. Just as in our gardens fruitful years for apple trees and berry bushes are not given out one after another, so in our forests fat years for the most important tree species are repeated at different intervals: for warty birch - on average every two years, for pine - 3-4 years and ate, respectively, every 5-6 years.
The volume and quality of seeds is much higher in good years than in poorer years. Therefore, it is best to harvest seeds in favorable years. So we get high-quality seed material at a lower cost.
The purpose of seed harvesting is to pass on the heredity of trees with excellent properties to future generations. Forest crops are established either by direct sowing in the forest, or plants grown from seeds are used and they are already planted in the forest.
Seeds of local forest trees usually ripen in summer in the year of flowering or in autumn. The exception is Scots pine, the ripening of seeds of which lasts two years. And here you need to know not only when they ripen, but also the time and nature of falling off.
Our forests are quite diverse and in them both early and late flowering forms are found in the same species, so the maturation and abscission of seeds occurs over a relatively long period.
Birch seeds ripen first. They reach maturity and fall off by the end of July or the beginning of August. And this year, birch seeds ripened two weeks earlier than usual and began to fall already in mid-July. This year turned out to be very fruitful for the seeds of warty birch, and we often had to clean the seeds that had flown from the windshield of the car in the morning.
Since birch seeds are very light, they are collected in heaps by wind force in windy places, but it is unreasonable to harvest these seeds in this way, since we do not know anything about their origin. Therefore, seeds are harvested from selected trees to ensure that the desired properties of the tree are passed on to the next generations.
Birch seeds are harvested mainly for the cultivation of plants that will serve as the beginning of the future birch forest next year. But the direct sowing of birch seeds and the creation of crops in this way is an unreliable business.
We use about 60 kilograms of birch seeds per year, from which about 2 million plants are grown.
Black alder seeds ripen by the end of October. They fall throughout the winter. This year, alder seed productivity strongly depended on the growing region, and the best results were recorded in South and East Estonia.
Alder seeds are used in the same way as birch seeds: mainly for growing plants. Estonia's annual need for these seeds is 10 kilograms, of which 200,000 plants are grown.
From a forestry standpoint, the most important tree species are Scots pine and Norway spruce. Harvesting pine and spruce cones, as well as obtaining seeds from them, is an important area of work in growing quality forests.
Bud yield is affected by the weather during bud formation and the year of flowering. As a rule, the precondition for the seed year is a hot sunny summer of the previous year. So, for example, we had a record hot summer of 2018. At the same time, late spring frosts can damage yields, rains during the flowering period, insects and pest fungi can prevent pollination. Since everything is balanced in nature, then pests appear when they have enough food.
Pine and spruce seeds ripen in October-November. Their readiness is indicated by a change in the color of the cones. The buds are green at first but turn brown as they mature. According to the color of young cones, two types of ordinary spruce are distinguished: with red and green cones. And when ripe, both of them begin to turn brown. Seeds fall from cones little by little throughout the winter, but massive fall begins with the onset of spring sunny days in March.
A coniferous stand suitable for harvesting seeds must be of quality class II and towers, ripe for refurbishment felling, and the share of harvested tree species must be at least 50 percent. Collected cones should not be free of pests - fungi and insects and not have resin smudges. In the forest, cones are collected in the process of clear felling from felled trees, and in seed nurseries (plantations planted for growing seeds) - from growing trees using a lift.
Seeds are obtained from cones by drying. Cones are kept for two days at a temperature of 45-55 degrees, until the scales open and seeds fall out. Then they are cleaned of fragments of wings, debris and damaged seeds.
A good harvest of spruce cones is expected this year, and below average pine cones.
The previous harvest years for spruce cones were in 2007 and 2013. The latter was particularly successful in Northern Estonia, more or less in Central and Southwestern and not so good in Southern Estonia.
This year there are cones on Christmas trees all over Estonia. At the same time, the peak of the spread of cone pests falls just in their harvest years. The cone leafworm and the cone moth cause the greatest harm. The picture of the damage caused by them is easily discernible by resin secretions, cone curvature and wood dust granules. Such cones should not be harvested - they do not contain a large volume of high-quality seeds.
Spruce seeds are mainly used for growing plants, because when sown, small plants grow that are not able to compete with the grass front on fertile soils, and as a result they die.
The annual need for spruce seeds in Estonia is 400 kilograms. Of these, 15 million plants are grown.
And pine seeds are used both for direct sowing and for growing plants. Direct seeding of pine works well in areas with sandy soils where poor grass growth does not clog pine seedlings.
Estonia's annual need for pine seeds is 600 kilograms, of which about 12 million plants are grown and 1000 hectares of forest seed are planted.
Over time, the need for seeds has halved. In forests, this is due to the replacement of manual seeding with machine seeding, and in plant production, the need for seeds has been reduced by sowing in covered ground and in pots.
Based on the periodic nature of the yield of forest seeds, their supply for Estonian forests is ensured, taking into account the average amount required for the period between harvest years, in order to guarantee the constant availability of seeds for the cultivation of forests: pine for 4 years, spruce for 8 years and birch - for 2 years. The seed supply is constantly changing: harvested seeds are used and new ones are harvested.
RMK is responsible for securing the seed stock, and the seed stock is handled on a non-profit basis, ie the proceeds from the sale of seeds must cover the costs of harvesting and storing them. Seed harvesting is ensured by RMK with the help of its employees in order to guarantee the reliability of seed origin and compliance with the requirements stipulated by legal acts.
We currently have a stock of pine seeds for 5 years, spruce for 9 years and birch for 4 years, which ensures the stability of Estonian forest renewal.
Properties of cones and their use in human life.
In nature, coniferous plants are very common, and along with them, of course, cones. We often use cones in the technology lesson. People use them to decorate Christmas trees, make jam. They say that walking through the pine forest is very useful. And I became interested in learning more about them.
The purpose of my work is to study and study the beneficial properties of cones and their practical application in human life. To do this, I needed to answer the questions: what is a bump? what are they? How do people use them? What benefits do they bring to both humans and animals?
When I started this work, I was surprised to learn how many kinds of cones there are, how varied they are, and how many benefits they bring.
Cone (lat. strobilus) is a modified shoot that develops at the ends of branches of gymnosperms (conifers and some others) in the form of small formations covered with scales.
Chapter 1. Diversity and role of gymnosperms.
1.1 The history of the origin of cones.
The first gymnosperms appeared about 350 million years ago; it was so long ago that the outlines of the greatest supercontinent in the history of the Earth, Pangea, first appear.
They are probably descended from ancient ferns that became extinct at the beginning of the Carboniferous. In the Mesozoic era - the era of mountain building, the rise of continents and the drying up of the climate - the gymnosperms reached their peak, but already from the middle of the Cretaceous lost their dominant position to the angiosperms.
For example, the Latin name of a pine comes from the name of the Greek nymph Pity, which the wind god Boreas turned into a pine out of jealousy. She was known and used as a remedy 5 thousand years ago.
In China, pines were considered magical trees that bring happiness and avert misfortune. In ancient Vietnam, they were planted at the imperial palace as a symbol of longevity and greatness.
Peter I ordered to actively breed pine trees in Russia. Once he found a pine tree in the forest with a bough bending in the form of a semicircle and again growing into the trunk, ordered this unusual frame to be cut down, and a Kunstkammer to be built in this place.
In paganism, a cone was a symbol of fertility, the hero of ancient Greek myths, the god Dionysus, was accompanied by servants-maenads with styrs crowned with cones.
1.2 Variety of pines.
The appearance of pine can be different: most often these are trees, and sometimes creeping shrubs. The shape of the crown changes with age from pyramidal to spherical or umbrella-shaped. This is due to the death of the lower branches and the rapid growth of the branches in breadth.
Shoots on which the needles are collected are normal, shortened or elongated. The needles, collected in bunches, flat or triangular, narrow and long, do not fall off within 3-6 years. Small scales are located around the base. The fruits are cones, inside which seeds develop (with and without wings).
In general, various types of pine are not too demanding, drought-resistant, frost-resistant and do not require fertile soil. Plants prefer dry sandy and rocky soils, although in this matter the Weymouth, Wallich, resinous and cedar pines are exceptions, which readily grow with moderate moisture. Limestone soil is suitable for mountain pine. Now let's take a closer look at some of the varieties of this culture.
This is perhaps the most common coniferous tree in Eurasia, which can be called a symbol of the Russian forest. The common pine species is photophilous, it feels normal both in the harsh northern climate and in the steppe heat. It hardly tolerates urban conditions, but it is the main crop for creating forests on sandy soil. In landscape design, Scotch pine is in demand for its variety of decorative forms and rapid growth. The tree can grow up to 40 meters. The bark is cracked, red-brown, in a young plant it is thin, slightly orange. The needles are bluish in color, double, hard, even or curved, 4-6 centimeters long. The maximum age of a tree under favorable conditions is 400-600 years. There are many artificially bred undersized and dwarf varieties of Scots pine. Under natural conditions in the territory of the range, it occurs in a variety of forms and easily crosses with species such as black and mountain pines. Depending on the area of growth, about 30 ecological forms - ecotypes - are also distinguished.
Siberian stone pine
Other types of pines are also popular. In Russia, one of the most valuable forest tree species is Siberian cedar pine - a powerful tree with a rich multi-peaked ovoid crown. The needles are short (6-13 cm), rough. It is frost-resistant, grows near the permafrost zone, in the taiga zone. The seeds of the large cones are edible and rich in fatty oils. In height reaches 3 meters.
Siberian stone pine Distributed in Western Siberia and the Far East. Cedar dwarf pine has a bushy shape, grows densely and has the ability to take root with branches lowered to the ground. It is an ornamental variety due to its beautiful bluish-green needles, bright red male spikelets and spectacular red-violet buds.
Very beautiful and tall pine. Varieties and species of North American conifers are of great economic importance. Weymouth pine is characterized by thin, soft and long bluish-green needles. The cones have a curved elongated shape. It perfectly withstands severe frosts, but for all its unpretentiousness it is not suitable for landscaping the city. Some well-known species of pine grow in the Crimea, for example, the Veymouth pine. This is a very beautiful North American variety, which differs from the previous shortened blue-green needles and large, somewhat curved buds. The height of an adult tree is about 30 meters, the crown is narrow, with characteristic reddish pubescence on young shoots. This is a heat-loving tree, although it is difficult to tolerate drought. It grows mainly in those mountainous areas that are protected from sea winds.
Pallas pine (Crimean pine)
Another species widespread on the Crimean peninsula. Pallas pine is a tall tree, about 20 meters. The bark is reddish-black, speckled with cracks. The crown is dense, changing shape from ovoid to umbrella-shaped. Differs in horizontally spread branches with the ends bent up and large cones. The Crimean pine is photophilous, undemanding to the soil, easily transfers a lack of moisture. It also grows in the Caucasus, Crete, the Balkans, and Asia Minor.
Ornamental Chinese species with characteristic long and thin needles, edible oil seeds. It grows exclusively in warm southern regions.
Differs in multi-stemmed structure, imported from North America. The light green needles are quite short and twisted, the cones are curved. Grows up to 25 meters in height. Frost-resistant, unpretentious species suitable for any soil. Bred only in botanical gardens.
This species is common in the Balkans and southern Italy. It is characterized by spectacular long needles of pale green color. Like many other types of pines, the photos of which are presented in the material, it is very unpretentious, moreover, it easily tolerates urban conditions. Weakness - insufficiently winter-hardy for the middle zone, therefore it is ideal for the southern regions.
Mountain pine is also very attractive. Pine species are scattered throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This species grows in the mountains of Central and Southern Europe. It is a large branched tree or a prostrate dwarf. Of particular interest for landscape design are a variety of compact decorative trees, from which beautiful compositions are created along the banks of reservoirs, in rocky gardens, etc. The maximum height is 10 meters, and the minimum is 40 centimeters.
One of the winter-hardy species grown in central Russia is the so-called red Japanese pine. The main condition for its good growth is not too long freezing of the soil. The needles are long and crowded at the end of the branch; during dusting, the tree exudes aroma. Does not accept urban conditions, grows on poor sandy soils.
Small-flowered pine or white pine
Japanese species of ornamental pines are small-flowered (white) pine, which received its second name for the spectacular white or bluish stripes on the needles, pronounced due to twisting. It is not winter-hardy, only a short dwarf variety grows in central Russia. Since the tree loves warmth and good lighting, the climate of the Black Sea coast is excellent for it.
Luxurious species with a narrow, pyramidal, openwork crown grows naturally in North America. It has long needles and a beautiful thick bark. It takes root in the southern regions and central Russia, but freezes in especially cold winters. The height of the tree reaches 10 meters. Prefers places protected from the winds, so it is best to plant in groups. Pine yellow is not susceptible to urban harmful conditions.
European Cedar Pine
European Cedar Pine species is similar to the Siberian "relative". The difference lies in the smaller size, denser spreading crown and long thin needles. In addition, the cones and seeds of the tree are not so large. Grows slower but lives longer. It will look perfect in single and group landscape gardening plantings.
Korean cedar pine
Quite a rare ornamental species growing in the Far East, East Asia, Korea, Japan. In beauty, this coniferous tree can be compared with the Siberian cedar pine, although the crown of the “Korean woman” is less dense, pubescent with bluish-green needles and decorated with decorative cones. The nut seeds are also edible. The culture tolerates frosts in central Russia relatively normally, grows as a stunted tree, although in the wild its height can reach 40-50 meters.
The owner of very long needles, naturally found in the west of North America and Guatemala. The tree grows up to 30 meters tall and has a spreading spherical crown. Huge conical cones can reach a length of 25 cm. It prefers a warm and humid climate, so it takes root well in the Crimea. Not susceptible to diseases and pests.
Many ornamental species of pine, including spiny pine, grow and bear fruit well in the conditions of central Russia. This North American species is quite rare and is a small tree or bush with raised branches that form a lush spreading crown. The needles are thick, and the cones have long spines. All varieties are unpretentious and winter-hardy.
A variety of Balkan pine with a low pyramidal crown, thick green needles 5-10 cm long and cylindrical hanging cones on stalks. Young shoots are bare. The bark is brown, flaky. Rumelian pine grows quickly and does not have special requirements for lighting and soils. Used in the decoration of parks.
Lodgepole pine (broad coniferous)
Grows in North America and due to good winter hardiness is bred in central Russia. The culture extends over large areas along the Pacific coast. The name is given for the twin twisted needles. It can be a shrub or a tall (up to 50 meters) tree, the lower branches of which are lowered, and the upper ones are either sprawling or directed upwards. The culture grows quite slowly, but it is unpretentious to the living conditions not only in nature, but even in the city.
A rare decorative species from Japan, also called black pine. The main habitat is alpine forests, about 1000 meters above sea level. This evergreen tree grows up to 40 meters in height. The crown is usually irregular in shape, light green in color, with long stiff needles (8-14 cm x 2 mm). The bark is black and the young shoots are orange and glabrous. The cones of the Thunberg pine are almost flat, and the gray seeds are winged. A heat-loving and moisture-loving culture that grows well in Sochi in our country.
Himalayan pine (Wallycha or Wallich)
Luxurious longleaf pine comes from the Himalayas and the Tibetan mountains. It grows quickly, does not tolerate frosts too well, it is moisture-loving. The ideal place for culture in our country is Crimea, where it bears excellent fruit. The tree in nature reaches a height of 30-50 meters. Beautiful 18 cm gray-green needles hang down. Decorative yellow cones are also long - about 32 centimeters. The species is cultivated for group landscape plantings.
Many ornamental pine species are classified as wild, including black pine, which came to us from the mountainous regions of Central Europe. This breed is very resistant to urban conditions. The name was given for the very dark bark and dense green needles that grow profusely. This creates shady areas, unlike Scots pine. In Russia, it is more suitable for the steppe part of the North Caucasus, although undersized decorative forms can be bred further north.
conquered almost the entire globe. In the temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, they form coniferous forests, called taiga, over vast expanses.
1.3 Variety of cones
The largest cone is that of the Pinus lambertiana pine (a species of evergreen trees of the genus Pine family Pine), also known as Sugar Pine (sugar pine) or Lambert pine. The length of the cones of this tree can reach ~60 cm, and the seeds up to 12 mm. This pine grows in the mountainous regions of the Sierra Nevada in the states of Oregon, Nevada and California, western North America and Northern Mexico, in natural conditions.
This large tree usually grows up to 70 m in height (rarely up to 81 m) and its diameter is from 1.2 to 1.8 m. see
It is noteworthy that in England there is a memorial plaque to the sugar pine cone: "The largest life-size cone in the world."
Araucaria pine cone
Araucaria bidwillii pine cone (Araucaria bidwillii, a species of evergreen coniferous trees from the Araucaria genus of the Araucariaceae family) can also claim the first place among the largest cones of the planet.
This evergreen tree grows up to 50 m in height, with a diameter of 125 cm. Its leaves are oval, spiky, reach a length of 2.5-7.5 cm and a width of 1.2-1.5 cm. dioecious plant, and the cones of the female individual grow much larger than the male, have a spherical-ovoid shape, with a thick axis. The size of the cones is impressive: they can reach 35 cm in diameter and weigh up to 3 kg. Its height is 50 m, and the cones on it grow up to 10 kg in weight. The local administration warns tourists about possible injuries from the cones of this tree and advises to stand at a safe distance from it.
But the African cycad Encephalartos caffer has the largest cones among modern plants, and possibly those that have ever existed in the world: the mass of one cone is from 40 kg. up to 50 kg.
The smallest cones, barely reaching 3 centimeters, have Lyell larch and Japanese pseudo-hemlock.
The wood of gymnosperms is a valuable raw material for the manufacture of furniture, railway sleepers, bridge piers, power line poles, mine passage fasteners. A large amount of wood is still used as fuel. The long fibers of spruce wood give it a special value as a raw material for the manufacture of high-quality papers.
Pine needles are rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C. Its decoction is used to treat and prevent certain diseases. By burning spruce wood, activated charcoal is obtained, which is used to treat various poisonings and cleanse the intestines (for example, mushroom poisoning). The resin of coniferous plants is widely used in medicine for the treatment of wounds and burns.
1.5 Benefits in nature.
Gymnosperms play an important role in nature, they are the basis of the vegetation cover of the zones of our planet, for example, the Siberian taiga. They enrich the air with oxygen, which is why they are often called the “lungs of the planet”. Forests regulate the melting of snow, the water level in rivers, absorb noise, weaken the force of winds, and fix the sands. The forest is a habitat for many species of birds and animals that feed on shoots, seeds, cones of coniferous plants (crossbills, woodpeckers, hazel grouse, black grouse, capercaillie, bullfinches, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, hazel dormouse and many others)
1. 6 Benefits for humans
Fir resin is of particular value, from which a special substance, camphor, is obtained. It improves the activity of the heart muscle, so it is used for heart diseases. Camphor is also included in various painkillers. Many substances valuable for the chemical industry are extracted from the resin (for example, a solvent for oil paints - turpentine). Essential oils (volatile substances that have a strong and usually pleasant smell) obtained from the resin are used in the manufacture of perfumes, in the confectionery and medical industries.
Yes, yes, yes, exactly cones, although juniper looks like a berry. This is not a berry at all, but a cone.
In everyday life, juniper branches are used to steam barrels, before pickling cabbage, pickling cucumbers, and in ancient times, juniper branches were used as an antimicrobial agent, they rubbed the floor and walls of the house, thereby repelling parasites and killing various microbes. After all, juniper is an antiseptic, due to the fact that it has bactericidal properties. Therefore, it has found wide application in medicine, both folk and official. An extract from juniper fruits is used in cooking and in the production of alcoholic beverages. For example, the well-known English Gin is a tincture of juniper berries. Also, a spice is made from juniper, or rather from its berries, which is widely used in the preparation of game, sausages. This spice not only gives a piquant and pleasant taste, but it is a tool that improves digestion and absorption of foods. Paint is made from cones and bark of juniper, it turns out to be greenish-yellow in color, it is also called khaki. Wood is used in the manufacture of boxes, furniture, canes, umbrella handles.
Composition and healing properties of juniper
1. Juniper fruits are rich in grape sugar, essential oils, which include cadinene, borneol, camphene, pinene. Juniper also contains: acids of organic origin, vitamin C, phytoncides, tannins, malic and acetic acid, wax, pigments, flavone glycosides. All these useful and active substances form the chemical composition of juniper.
Due to the fact that juniper is rich in essential oils and resins, juniper berries exude a pleasant and peculiar smell when crushed. Juniper essential oil has an excellent antimicrobial, expectorant, diuretic and choleretic effect. A decoction of the berries of this shrub is used for inflammation of the bladder. You can also use a decoction and in the absence of appetite, it improves digestion and intestinal motility.
2. This plant copes well with various skin diseases, tuberculosis, asthma. Juniper helps to cope with stressful situations, using its decoction, you can put the nervous system in order.
3. Juniper needles occupies a leading position due to their unique bactericidal properties, because juniper oil strengthens, cleanses, warms, anesthetizes and, of course, invigorates.
4. With the help of juniper, you can cure toothache, as well as cure dermatitis. Juniper will lead to an excellent state of blood circulation and pressure, will help with colic and constipation.
Since ancient times, fir cones have been revered by traditional healers as raw materials for preparations with unique medicinal properties.
Medicinal properties of spruce cones
In non-traditional medicine, cones give the ability to remove negative energy: just hold the "gift" of the Christmas tree in your palms, and a surge of strength will not keep you waiting long. Fir cones are rich in vitamin C, therefore preparations from them are especially relevant in winter, when human immunity is weakened, and the activity of viruses and microbes is the highest.
Antibacterial properties of spruce shoots allow the use of infusions and decoctions from them for the treatment of:
1. ENT - diseases;
2. Skin diseases.
3. Diseases of the joints with bruises and rheumatism.
In folk medicine, spruce cones are used to make jam, or rather, medicinal syrup.
This remedy made from spruce cones is taken as an additive to tea in the treatment of bronchitis, pneumonia. You can drink syrup in another way: a tablespoon three times a day before a meal.
Cones infused with alcohol have powerful bactericidal properties, which even E. coli and staphylococcus are powerless against.
Such a drug is useful after a stroke - daily use of a teaspoon of tincture after a meal allows you to quickly get back on your feet after an attack.
In addition, many nuts have excellent taste qualities and their consumption is a national tradition. For example: the famous pine nuts (as well as sunflower seeds) half-jokingly - half-seriously called "Russian chocolate".
Mature pine cones are sensitive to changes in ambient humidity, opening at low humidity and shrinking at high humidity. Therefore, where an accurate measurement of humidity is not required, they can be used as a hygrometer (a measuring instrument designed to determine the humidity of the air). It became very interesting to me whether this is really so, and I conducted several experiments:
1. I lowered an open cone into a jar of water and began to observe what was happening. After a while, after about 2 hours, the cone in the water closed. When I took the cone out of the water, I noticed that after a while it began to dry out and gradually open.
Before immersion in water After 2 hours after immersion in water after some time
The bump, which was in a glass of warm water, closed faster. Thus, I came to the conclusion that the speed of closing the cone depends on the temperature of the water, the higher the temperature, the faster the cone closes.
Beginning of the experiment 15 minutes after immersion in water
Conclusion: The temperature of the water affects the rate at which the pine cone closes. They close faster in warm water than in cold water.
My research didn't stop there. To do this, I decided to compare the forecast of weather forecasters, the actual state of the weather and what my natural hygrometer (which we made with dad) shows.
The hygrometer is a measuring device that is used to determine the humidity of the air in the environment. The level of humidity in the air is an important indicator, since the well-being of a person largely depends on it.
Meteorologically dependent people, as well as those who suffer from hypertension, diseases of the cardiovascular system and bronchial asthma are especially sensitive to it. And with increased dryness of the air, even absolutely healthy people tend to feel discomfort, drowsiness, dry skin, accompanied by itching, irritation.
Quite often, dry air provokes the development of various diseases of the respiratory system, ranging from banal acute respiratory infections and acute respiratory infections to bronchitis and even pneumonia.
The hygrometer is no less important for the normal functioning of some enterprises, since high or low air humidity can significantly affect the safety of their products. Therefore, it is needed both for use in everyday life and in production.
And for this we need a special device - a hygrometer. It is sometimes called a barometer, but this is incorrect. The barometer measures pressure. Hygrometer - humidity.
Probably, you also noticed how pine trees crackle on a clear sunny day in winter or spring? These are the scales of drying cones.
This comes from the fact that each scale of the cone is a small hygrometer. The wood fibers in it are arranged in such a way that the scale becomes very sensitive to moisture. As soon as it begins to dry out, the fibers change tension and the scale opens up.
Why is she doing this? Yes, of course, in order to release, with the onset of good weather, a tiny winged pine seed, which she kept all winter!
To make a meter at home, you can use the property of the cone to straighten or vice versa - to compress - its scales, depending on changes in environmental humidity.
How the hygrometer works: when the air is moist, the cone closes and pulls the float towards the umbrella, which indicates the approach of rain. When the weather is sunny (the air becomes dry and warm), the cone opens and our float points to the sun.
I made my observations in September and recorded them in a table (see below). September passed, and I analyzed my observations. The natural hygrometer has never let me down, but the weather forecasters' predictions from the actual weather have diverged for several days. For example, it is 02, 07, 09, 16th, 28th and 30th.
Thinking for a long time about what else I could do, an idea came to my mind, and I made New Year's toys from cones and also crafts that you can now observe.
I told you that my father and I made a hygrometer, together with my sister we set up experiments and created crafts (it was fun and interesting), and of course it would not be right to leave my mother aside, so my mother and I made jam. I share the recipe with you below.
Cone jam is almost never used for culinary purposes, but it is a good prophylactic against colds, it is given as a medicine for coughs and sore throats. If children eat a teaspoon of jam, and adults a tablespoon a day, then you can protect yourself well from colds.
Conclusion: The jam tastes sweet and sour, I can say that it is not for everybody. On a very, very strange amateur. Which, as it turns out, I am not.
Having learned so many new and interesting things about cones, I decided to conduct a small survey among my friends (20 people were interviewed) about what they know about them and this is what I found out:
Conclusion: many of us know very little about how widely you can apply, it would seem, at first glance, such simple cones. At the lessons of the world around me, I will definitely share my experiences and observations with my classmates.
I also managed to find out that there is a material that reacts to moisture Water Reaction. Chao Chen, a student at the Royal College of Art in London, has developed an innovative building (finishing) material that changes its shape depending on weather conditions. The inspiration for this material, so far called "Water Reaction" (reaction to water), was an ordinary pine cone. Noticing its ability to open and close depending on the level of humidity, the student decided that it would be nice to create a material that can react in the same way - by itself, without any mechanical or electrical drive.
After examining the cones, it turned out that they are structurally composed of two layers - an outer layer capable of expanding under the influence of moisture, and an inner one.
When it rains, the outer shell expands by accumulating water, forcing the inner layer to close.
Of course, a wonderful discovery. Too bad I didn't do it. But I will not despair, I think I will be able to make many other discoveries in my life. No less interesting.
In this work, we discussed the study of the beneficial properties of cones and their practical application in human life. Now I can say "A cone is a unique phenomenon in nature."
After studying and analyzing this topic, I found out that conifers occurred probably about 350 million years ago, when the outlines of the greatest supercontinent in the history of the Earth - Pangaea - first appear.
Having delved into this topic a little, I was surprised how many varieties of pines that seem ordinary at first glance exist. In my work, I briefly talked about only 21 species, and believe me, this is not a chapel.
The next question I was looking for an answer to is about the benefits for a person. Gymnosperms are currently needed for construction, for the chemical industry, used in the manufacture of perfumes, in the confectionery and medical industries of the pulp and paper industry, in the manufacture of musical instruments, and furniture. It is used for underwater structures, in shipbuilding. Resin, tar, turpentine, wood vinegar, essential oils are extracted from them. Coniferous plants are rich in vitamins, they are used for the treatment and prevention of certain diseases. For example, juniper cones cleanse, warm, anesthetize and, of course, invigorate. And infusions from spruce cones are used to treat ENT - diseases, skin diseases.
If we talk about the benefits in nature and for animals. Plants enrich the air with oxygen, which is why they are often called the "lungs of the planet." Forests regulate the melting of snow, the water level in rivers, absorb noise, weaken the force of winds, and fix the sands. The forest is a habitat for many species of birds and animals that feed on shoots, seeds, cones of coniferous plants (crossbills, woodpeckers, hazel grouses, black grouse, capercaillie, bullfinches, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, hazel dormouse and many others)
I discovered a lot of new things , and surprising, and even a little magical for yourself. And most importantly, I was convinced of a simple truth: nature gives us everything so that we can be healthy (and if we get sick, then in nature there is something that can be cured), we can develop and move forward. At the end of my work, I draw the following conclusion: “Nature is such a gift that you need to be able to use it without destroying it. And then I think we will be able to learn a lot more new and interesting things.