A few of my young red pines were covered with pollen cones this year.
Two year-old red pine with lots of pollen cones
The appearance of so many cones is typically a sign of stress. The small number of young needles emerging above the cones offers further evidence – it looks like this pine had a hard time last year, possibly due to a lack of water during summer.
Some of the pines with pollen cones were far more vigorous.
Vigorous pine with pollen cones near base of the candles
Fortunately, most of my young pines looked like the tree below – no pollen cones, lots of new needles.
The rest of the trees on the bench resembled the tree above.
No pollen cones, just a few seed cones
As I tend to grow young trees in batches, I’m always on the lookout for differences between specimens as they can offer clues that can lead to better care. Were there lots of young trees with pollen cones, I’d need to make some big changes, but as there are only a few, I’ll keep up the usual watering and fertilizing.
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