If you are noticing a surplus of pinecones this year, you are not alone.

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We were getting into some spring cleaning this past weekend, and when I tell you our front lawn was covered with thousands of pinecones, I am not exaggerating.

My neighbor said the same thing! He was out for at least four hours with a leaf blower, herding thousands of pinecones to the chipper. A wall of pinecones a foot thick was being marched across his lawn.

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It took him two refills of the tank to be done, and I peeked over at his lawn this morning, THERE'S MORE! Where are they coming from!??!

According to CBS.com, there are a couple of possible explanations.

Theory #1: Natural Cycles

Apparently, trees which produce seeds for propagation, like pine, oak, maple, etc, have what's called "mast years", where an unusually high number of fruit is produced by the tree. It is very likely (but cannot be proven with 100% certainty) that 2023 was a mast year for the pines, which led to an overabundance of shredded cone debris (which we are obviously still dealing with this spring).

Theory #2: The Weather and Climate: 

Cool and wet growing seasons favor growth of the tree versus hot and dry seasons. This can stress a tree and cause it to increase cone bud production, thus leading to higher yields of pine cones the following year. We have had a couple of unseasonably warm winters, so this theory would make sense.

Theory #3: The Trees are trying to outsmart the Insects

This is some crazy nature stuff, but try to stay with me. According to New Hampshire Fish and Game, pine trees don't produce the same amount of cones each year. They do this as a way of avoiding predators. If they produce cones on erratic, unpredictable cycles, the insects can't adjust to them.

Whichever theory you stand with (or perhaps you believe in a combination of all three), there is no denying that an abundance of crunchy sticky pine cones are invading our personal space. How and if you choose to get rid of them is entirely up to you.

And with that being said, I am taking any and all recommendations for a good local lawn care service, please and thank you!

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