Do Cedar Trees Produce Pollen Cones or Seed Cones?

Written by jacob j. wright
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Do Cedar Trees Produce Pollen Cones or Seed Cones?
Cedar trees produce both pollen and seed cones. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

"Cedar tree" is a common, colloquial name assigned to many species of cone-bearing, or conifer, trees. Botanically speaking, cedar trees belong to the genus Cedrus. Americans call various trees cedars, including those in the genera Juniperus, Chamaecyparis, Cryptomeria and Calocedrus.


All of the aforementioned conifer trees that are dubbed cedar trees all produce cones, not flowers. Moreover, all produce different gendered cones: male cones shed pollen and female cones produce seeds.


Size, shape and colour of the male and female cones differ among the species. Species in Cedrus, Cryptomeria, Calocedrus and Chamaecyparis genera produce both types of cones on the same tree, often on different branches. In contrast, cedar trees in genus Juniperus produce different sexed cones on separate plants.


Male cones are usually overlooked as they are smaller and do not persist on cedar tree branches, unlike female cones. When an automobile or picnic table is coated in powdery yellow pollen, you know the male cones are open and releasing pollen into the wind.

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