How to Get Seeds From a Pinecone


Cones come from a variety of trees, but they are only called pine cones when they form on a pine tree. The pine cone is green when it first develops and contains the seeds of the pine tree. As the seeds ripen, the outer part of the cone dries and becomes brown. If desired, you can collect the tiny seeds from inside the pine cone and plant them to grow new pine trees.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Shallow cardboard box
  • Oven (optional)
  • Pick some pine cones that are closed but have turned brown.

  • Lay the pine cones on a piece of newspaper in a location that receives direct sunlight. Leave them there until the cones begin to open up and the seeds are visible inside.

  • Place the open cones into a shallow cardboard box and shake the box sideways vigorously to dislodge the seeds.

  • Pick out the pine cones and discard them. You will see the tiny pine seeds that are covered in paper-like wings in the bottom of the box.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wait until between September and October to pick the cones; this is when most pine species develop cones.
  • If desired, you can place the pine cones into an oven set to 120 degrees and cook them until they open.

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  • Photo Credit Pinecone 02 image by C.Y.Ronnie.W from
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