More Than Décor
Pine cones are common household décor this time of year. We tend to call all cones “pine” but they are actually different for every type of evergreen tree… spruce cones, fir cones, etc. The cones grow on evergreens to protect the tree’s seeds within their scaly, wood exterior. There are 2 seeds nestled under every individual scale of a pine cone.
The most common evergreen in Illinois is the White Pine. Pine cones remain on White Pines for an average of 2 years but can stay for nearly 10 years on some evergreen trees! Then, they fall to the ground and often end up on your Christmas wreath!
Sources: Illinois DNR, Morton Arboretum