Pine trees are known as conifers, which means their seeds come either as cones or contained with cones. There are over 100 species of pine trees in the world, and each has a unique cone type. Some of these cones are very small, while others can grow to be an amazing two feet in length. The cones also differ in their shape, color and function. Listed below are a few of the more popular types of pine cones.
The cones from Ponderosa pines are regarded as insignificant, growing to be short and wide. Despite the unappealing round shape, the cone's scales are full and plump. Under each scale of the Ponderosa pine cone is a sharp, pointed tip. This is likely an evolutionary adaptation designed to keep the cone intact, and thus capable of growing into a new tree.
The Douglas fir is the king of pine trees, standing over 300 feet tall. Its cones are comparably unique, growing unusually long. Pointy three-pronged bracts grow along the scales of the cone, making Douglas fir cone identification quite easy. While the majority of pine cones grow upwards while still attached to their trees, Douglas fir cones hang down.
The Scotch pine, often used as a Christmas tree, possesses light brown cones that grow wide open to disperse seeds around October. At this point, the cones are no longer symmetrical, as is the case before they open.
The White pine is the tallest tree on the East Coast, and its cones are representative of that. Actually, they are the largest pine cones in the world. Wide and long, the cones grow up to two-feet long. Due to their sheer size and their ability to remain amazingly symmetrical, White pine cones are often used as holiday decorations.