Conifer Cones

Antman452February 12, 2013

Hi--It has been awhile since I last posted here so let me briefly introduce myself and describe my interests. I am trying to assemble as large a display collection of the cones of the conifers of the world as possible. With the help of a number of you I have about 250 species so far, out of the totals for the world as follows, so I have a LONG way to go.

8 Families, 70 Genera, 615 Species, 45 Sub-Species, 249 Varieties, 8420 Cultivars

For anyone interested, I offer a FREE Excel format Conifers of the World Checklist listing all of the above. Just send me an email for a free copy at:

RonMerchant45@yahoo.com

The main purpose of this email is to ask for help on solving a problem. As most of you know the cones of the Genus Abies (Firs) do not fall off the tree intact. Instead, they disintegrate leaving only the central rachis when they mature. Does anyone know of a way to collect these cones intact? If they are collected a week or 2 before they are fully ripe, will the stay together as they dry? I have no interest in the seeds, just the cones for display. Any suggestions are welcomed.

If any of you have access to varies species of conifers, especially non-US species and would be willing to collect 1-5 cones for me, please contact me at the email above. I would appreciate ANY help on my project.

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

If seeds and viable germination is no object, I would suggest collecting them green. Let them dry - you can try experiments of air drying versus drying in a food dehydrator or by using desiccants. I really don't know what will give you the best results as far as looks and appearance - which it sounds as though you are looking for. But do some small experiments, you'll find what works best.

After *completely* dried, I would then coat them with some sort of craft spray coating or glue. This will help hold them together if they become brittle and prone to falling apart after drying. Check out what might be used on crafts with dried flowers and weeds. Surprisingly this isn't a craft I do so I can't direct you more but I'm sure google can.

If you have any cone pics to share, please do!

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Antman452

FataMorgana

Thanks for the suggestions. I think perhaps the crafts glue spray idea might work. Unfortunately I live in southern Michigan where NO firs grow, so I do not have access to any fir cones to experiment with.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:57AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I would guess even if there are not firs native to Michigan (there's got to be some), people plant all sorts (native and not) in their landscaping. No wonder, firs can be beautiful trees. The previous owners of my house planted a white fir in the side yard. It is close enough to the house that I get a great view of the cones at the tippy-top of the tree from a second story window. I get to see the cones mature and fall apart as you mentioned leaving the candle-like pegs behind.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Antman452

FataMorgana

The only Abies species native to Michigan is A. balsamea. This species is found in northern Michigan, 300 miles plus north of where I live in Lansing, Michigan. I am sure there must be landscape planting of a few species in Lansing, but I would have no access to the cones.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:28PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Abies balsamea is native to Michigan. In addition many private and public gardens grow various Abies like koreana, concolor, lasiocarpa, alba and many others in Michigan. Hidden Lakes Garden in southeast Michigan is a good example of this.

You may also want to post this in the Conifer Forum where many coneheads hang out.

tj

Here is a link that might be useful: Conifer Forum

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:48PM
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plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)

Do you have any from second-generation loblolly pines? I could send you some of those.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:48AM
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plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)

Do you have any from second-generation loblolly pines? I could send you some of those.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Antman452

Thanks for the reply. I have cones from Loblolly pine already. What would be different about 2nd generation Loblolly from 1st generation?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:15PM
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plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)

The forester told us that second-generation loblollies are more vigorous, faster growing, and more resistant to pine beetle. I forgot to mention that I also have Virginia pine if you're interested.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Antman452

Yes, what you were told about 2nd generation growth is in general true for most pines. But, to my knowledge there is no difference in the cones. So I would not need any of those cones for my project. Also, I have Virginia Pine already also. I do appreciate the reply and offer.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:03PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Have you contacted anyone at Michigan State? They have extensive gardens and might have different species of evergreens planted. They also have numerous extension sites throughout the state and might be able to help. They probably even have grad students studying evergreens in one way or another.

Good luck in your search/project.

Martha

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Antman452

Martha

As a matter of fact I graduated from MSU in 1975 with B.S. degrees in Entomology and Botany. I live 5 miles from the MSU campus. You are right, they do have many species of evergreens on campus. They even have a Dawn Redwood planted in 1949 from the original 1st lot of seeds brought back from China from the discovery grove. Thus, it is one of the oldest Dawn Redwoods outside of China.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:43AM
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honymand

Concerning firs: Try to get access to an A. koreana, possibly from a garden center. They set a lot of cones already at 1m height so they are easier to get at for experimenting. Mine has 30+ cones at 120cm height. Many other firs done set cones until they are 4m or more. Don't know about Michigan but in many areas A. koreana is readily available from garden centers albeit a little expensive.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:39AM
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honymand

Hi, the answer on how to handle fir cones is found in the latest journal (No. 20, Spring 2013) from the British Conifer Society, p. 31. Dave Capewell writes you should soak the cones in a mixture of glycerine and water for 2 to 4 days. Use 50-60% glycerine and 40-50% water.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Antman452

Honymand--That sounds like it should work. I do not get the British Conifer Society Journal. Would it be possible for you to scan the appropriate page or pages and send them to me as an attachment to an email? If so, please send to

RonMerchant45@yahoo.com.

Also, if you know it, could you send me Dave Capewell's email address.

Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:43PM
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