What do fir and pine trees tell us about the weather?
Firs and pines are coniferous trees, which have tall, straight trunks and either flat narrow leaves or sharply tipped needles. Conifers bear their seeds inside dry, woody, female cones. In cool or damp weather the scales of the cones close up tightly, protecting the seeds inside with a waterproof layer of waxy resin. When the weather is warm and dry, the resin softens, and the cone's scales open to release their seeds. Some species, like the lodgepole pine, need fiery-hot sunshine to crack open their cones.