Fall is all around us, and one of the most identifiable signs of fall is pine cones. They’re at the heart of our experiment this month. Pine cones help conifer trees reproduce and in order to do that, they actually open and close! Explore the causes of this special pinecone movement with only a few items and a few minutes.
Why Do Pine Cones Open and Close?
The scales on the pine cones respond to humidity. When the air is warm and dry, the cones will open in order to release their seeds. If the weather is wet and cold, the pine cone scales swell up and close to protect the seeds. Seeds released on dry days have a better chance of a large range of dispersal and future success.
Expand on this experiment by trying different types of liquid to see how the pine cones respond.