Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Pine Cone Formation and Weather
Name: Maryann
Grade: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
Does the presence of lots of pinecones on our fir trees forecast weather for the previous or future winter or summer?


Replies:
Pine, fir and other cones, along with acorns, thickness of animal fur, and many other observations in nature have long been a big part of weather lore. They are all responses to weather and other conditions during the previous season or seasons, no plants or animals can predict future weather - not even as well as human meteorologists, and they don't do so well more than about 7 days ahead.

J. Elliott


The presence of lots of pine cones on fir trees forecasts a shift in the genetic make-up of the fir trees. For a FIR tree to have PINE cones is really quite a feet! Sounds like these trees are doing a bit more than falling in the woods when no one is around...

Pine trees have pine cones. Fir trees have fir cones.

Other than that I do not know if cone quantity is predictive or indicative of weather patterns. I would not think it would be a forecasting tool. Potentially it could related to the past weather.

Ian Farrell


I guess you mean fir cones on fir trees, or pine cones on pine trees.

Either way, the following may be helpful:

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/bot00/bot00732.htm

http://www.cof.orst.edu/cof/teach/for442/cnotes/sec1/intro.htm

http://www.enaturalist.org/question/5949

Sincerely,

Anthony R. Brach
Missouri Botanical Garden
c/o Harvard University Herbaria



Click here to return to the Botany Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory