Where To Find Pine Cones? A Complete Guide

As we come out of the fall season, many people are looking for great ways to accent their home and lawn with beautiful decorations.

Families have a lot of fun making various pine cone crafts together, such as pine cone owls, pine cone bird feeders, and pine cone wreaths. For my family, we enjoy just finding pine cones together! Other people like to purchase their pine cones, but we’ll get to all the different ways in this article. Now, let’s get to it!

Have You Ever Wondered Where to Find Pine Cones?

Do you want to add a crackling sound to your fire or create cute and festive decorations? This part of the article will cover the best ways to find pine cones.

Finding Pine Cones At Local Parks

The cheapest way to get pine cones is by collecting them from your local park. You can find pine cones by venturing out into the forest and looking for them. This is a fun activity that also saves you money! It has kind of become a Christmas tradition for us, and it’s perfect for couples too! My family’s favorite places to start are the local parks, but you have to know what to look for. Around us, there are plentiful pine trees and other various conifer trees. These are the types of trees with the cones you’re looking for.

Coniferous trees include:

  • Pine trees
  • Spruce trees
  • Cedar trees
  • Pinyon pines
  • and Fir trees

If you’re curious what kinds of coniferous trees grow around you, just search Google for “what kind of conifer trees grow in [your city name]?” and the results will tell you what grows in your area.

Make sure you check with the park to verify that it’s okay to collect the cones. My local parks are always okay with it, but I’ve heard that some areas are more protective about these activities.

Finding Pine Cones By Walking The Neighborhood

Many neighborhoods are peppered with the perfect types of trees for pine cones. If you’re lucky, then a simple walk around the block with some “trash grabbers” and a garbage bag can net you a nice haul and along with a lovely walk. Your neighbors may even appreciate it. But, believe it or not, many people don’t like pine cones because they can be messy and even dull mower blades.

Church, College, and Organization Campuses

If you have any nearby churches, colleges, or other organizations with large campuses with suitable trees, then consider contacting them to offer to pick them up as a community service.

What Month Do Pine Cones Fall?

It depends on where you live in the world and the kind of conifer trees around you. Generally speaking, the bulk of pine cones and other conifer cones drop during the autumn season. Some stragglers may hang on a bit longer, but nearly all pine cones will fall from the trees by winter.

If you’re located in the northern hemisphere, that is between September and December. If you’re located in the southern hemisphere, that is between March and June.

Where to Buy Pine Cones for Crafts?

Pretty much all retailers will sell pine cones during the fall season. You’ll typically find them in the arts and crafts section or holiday decorations section. If you see them in the decorations area, often, they’ll be scented with cinnamon or frosted. If that isn’t desirable, you’ll want to check the arts and crafts areas.

Michaels Art Store & JOANN Fabrics

These two stores are my first stop when I buy pine cones. If I don’t have time to pick up pine cones in the parks, then I’m heading straight for JOANN Fabrics first, then Michael’s second. Don’t ask me why; I always think JOANN is cheaper, but I’ve not price compared in some time. JOANN always seems to have a better selection as well. Sometimes they even have multiple scents too! So if you’re looking for scented pine cones, go to JOANN fabrics.

Lowes & Home Depot

Both Lowes and Home Depot carry pine cones around Christmas time. You’ll need to check with your stores to see what they have available. In my area, it’s almost always the cinnamon-scented pine cones that are pretty expensive.

Walmart

Walmart often carries pine cones in the arts and crafts areas, but I could only find the frosted pine cones in the Christmas decorations area this year. This might be ideal, depending on what you’re doing with the pine cones. Also, the pricing is a lot better than at Lowes & Home Depot.

Dollar Tree & Dollar General

You can also find them at discount retailers like Dollar Tree and Dollar General, but they’re usually much smaller.

Amazon

You can also purchase them online from Amazon, but you’ll usually pay a significant mark up because they occupy a lot of space, making them expensive to ship. The other issue is trying to get the right size. Often, people complain about how small the pine cones are compared to the images in the listings.

Pine Cone Frequently Asked Questions:

Over the years, my kids have asked me many questions about pine cones, and I’ve had to do a lot of research to answer them. Below are some of the questions I’ve had to answer or learn for my own use. I hope they serve you well. If you have any others, feel free to send them my way!

How to Dry Pine Cones for Crafts

Pine cones are an excellent craft material for wintertime. It is best to gather the cones when they are newly fallen in late November or December before they dry out and break open. The pine cones should be carefully collected in a bag. They should then be set out in a well-ventilated, dry place for at least three weeks, turning them every few days to ensure even drying.

The key is dry airflow. It’s also best not to pick up pine cones after it rained. Instead, give it a few days for the ground to dry out before picking them up.

Are All Pine Cones The Same Shape and Size?

No, while the cones from conifer trees can have similar shapes and sizes, some trees produce large cones, and others produce small cones.

Are All Tree Cones Called “Pine Cones?”

No, not all tree cones are called pine cones. Technically, pine cones only come from the Pine tree, but people often use the term “pine cone” generically to refer to the cone-shaped seed pods from conifer trees. For example, Fir trees produce “fir cones.” Similarly, Spruce trees have “spruce cones,” for the rest of this article, I’ll likely use the term “Pinecone” loosely to refer to all of these types of cones. Pine trees are the predominant conifer around me.

What Kind Of Crafts Can You Do With Pine Cones?

Our go-to pine cone crafts are the simple bird feeders. You slather the pine cone in peanut butter, then roll it in birdseed. What I love about this craft is that it’s straightforward, and it’s so much fun seeing the birds enjoy your creation! These also make wonderful stocking stuffer gifts for mom. Just make sure you wrap them as the pine cones will likely catch on the stocking fabric.

The next craft we like to do is make animals with them. A few adhesive wiggle eyes (you may have to hot glue them), hot glue, and some cheap felt fabric in a variety of colors, and you can make owls, bears, foxes, penguins, bears, and hedgehogs. Bring paint into the mix, and the options are limitless! Pigs, cows, gorgeous wreaths, and more.

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