Jones' Farmer Blog

Behind the scenes and lessons at Jones Family Farms in Shelton, CT

Coning!

3 Comments

Along with learning multitudes of strawberry facts in Strawberry School, our first week here on the farm was spent diligently plucking individual fir cones off of the trees. You may know more about this if you have been reading the Jones Farmer Blog, but I’ll provide you with a little science lesson anyway.

Fraser Fir trees produce cones like these when they have been stressed–the drought last year most likely is a contributing factor to this–in order to preserve the species.

They are wind-pollinated, so the cones are usually found on the very tops of the trees. You know what this means! We’ve been bringing step ladders to the base of each tree, climbing up and snapping the cones off.

Why do we take them off? Well, there are a couple of reasons: when the trees produce these cones, they are using their energy to create seeds, rather than continue their own growth process. Removing the cones restrains that reproduction process so the trees instead devote their energy to creating new growth, which you can also see in the picture above, on the tips of each branch (it’s the brighter color green). We also remove the cones for the same reason we prune the trees each summer–to help them maintain their classic Christmas tree shape.

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3 thoughts on “Coning!

  1. Learned something here … and it sounds like this method of easy pruning might be good for other evergreen species as well. Thanks!

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