May 3, 2021

Virginia Pine Branch

Catherine Boston

I took this picture of a branch of Virginia Pine on the Red Trail.  You can identify that it is a Virginia Pine by the two, twisted needles in each bundle.   Pine trees are gymnosperms and mostly wind pollinated which is extremely evident to anyone who parks their car near a pine tree this time of year.  The cluster of yellow-brown cylinders near the ends of the branch are the male cones which are producing the pollen that is easily borne by the wind.  You can also see a mature cone from a previous year.  If you look closely, you can see the sharp edges at the end of each scale.  This is also indicative of Virginia Pines.  

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