The Science of Christmas Trees Part 2

There has been quite a high interest in the science of Christmas trees, and therefore I decided to dedicate another post to this season’s VIP (Very Important Plant). To start with some proper Botany, take a look at this very nice schematic diagram by the BCTGA (British Christmas Tree Growers Association), available for download here. It contains tons of information including scientific names, needle and cone shapes and geographic distribution.

Did you know that pine cones are actually very flexible and can open and close depending on the air humidity of their environment?

The reason for this is that pine cones are the tree’s reproductive organs. Male cones produce pollen grains which are distributed by wind and fertilise the female cone. In order to release the mature seeds, female cones open up when the conditions are good (as in dry and warm).

Read more about the life cycle of conifers:

You didn’t really think I would finish this post without something funny? Here. Have a squirrel and a pine cone (and an accidental bird).


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