In earliest spring, before flowers and leaves brighten the forest, there’s already a bustling world beneath the brown leaves. From the Spring 2014 issue of Seasons, the member magazine of The Morton Arboretum.
What is a pine or spruce cone? Think of it as an egg carton. Each of the layered scales once created a sealed compartment for one or two seeds. You can find many sizes and shapes of cones among the more than 100 kinds of trees in the Conifer Collection at The Morton Arboretum. Their ancestry is ancient: Conifer fossils go back 300 million years.