Did you know that pinecones were a delicious snack for the Parasaurolophus, or what is commonly referred to as the duckbill dinosaur? If not, that’s okay. Neither did we. But here at Green Acres Landscape, we do know how much of a nuisance they can be when your yard is littered with them. Rather than leaving them in your yard for the winter to take hold of, or for those rascally squirrels, there are several ways to use these hard seeds around your home this winter.
While they may not look like much when lying in your yard, head on out and collect some with the kids this winter, then transform these brown cones into colorful and beautiful rose bouquets. Since they naturally flare outward and give off the appearance of petals, spray paint a handful of them – or dip them in paint and let them dry – to give you a colorful display in any room this winter. Or, attach them to green-painted twigs and enjoy a faux rose bouquet all year-round.
When dry, pinecones make excellent kindling. In fact, they can spark wildfires when left out in the wilderness. But when collected from your back yard and allowed to dry out indoors, pinecones can serve another purpose: fireplace fire starters. Dip them in wax and fragrance oils to give you a collection of colorful and wonderfully scented kindling, then enjoy a toasty night by the fire.
It should be no surprise that animals love pinecones, including your fluttering friends that haven’t left for the winter. If you have some birds lingering in nearby trees, smother some pinecones with peanut butter and bird seed and hang them outdoors to give your feathered friends something delicious to snack on during the winter. You might even hang some for the squirrels, so they don’t feel left out.
If you’re still doing winter yard preparations, take the time to collect as many pinecones as you can and create mulch layers at the bases of your trees. Not only will you be creating warmth for the roots, but you’ll also be sprucing up your lawn and making it decorative. You can arrange the pinecones in layers to give the base of your trees more insulation and texture. This will also give you a starting mulch base when it comes time to put down fresh wood chippings in the spring.
Pinecones make excellent centerpieces and are not uncommon to find around the house at Christmas time. Lightly spray paint the tips white and sprinkle them with some silver glitter to give them a decorative look. Put them around large center candles, or in a decorative wooden box at the center of your table for a more traditional look. You can even put them at the bottom of flower vases along with a small strand of lights to give you more delicate lighting for those cold winter nights.
The possibilities and ideas are endless when it comes to recycling the pinecones you find around your yard. If Green Acres Landscape hasn’t already been out to clean up your property in or around Salem, OR, take advantage and collect them for all of your upcoming winter arts and crafts. When you’re ready for us to come out, give us a call at (503)-399-8066, and we’ll winterize your lawn or clean up your bushes before winter sets in completely.