Green pine cones are the unripe form of pine cones. As they have brown color when fully ripe. But why do squirrels eat green pine cones? Why don’t they like to eat matured pine cones? If you are interested to know about this fact, then navigate this article. As, in this article, I’m going to discuss about all these facts.
Squirrels can also eat ripe pine cones, but they prefer to eat green pine cones (an unripe form of pine cones) due to the seeds inside them.
However, the reason behind it is that green pine cones or unripen pine cones contain seeds that are not present inside the ripen pine cones.
Moreover, squirrels like to eat green pine cones as their seeds provide them sufficient nutritional value.
Squirrels are predominantly herbivorous, but they are also known as opportunistic omnivorous. As, they can eat both plant-based and animal-based matter. Not only this, but squirrels can eat various things, and they are not picky about their food.
As, they can eat fruits, seeds, meat, even dead squirrels, and almost everything on their paws. But, why do squirrels eat green pine cones? Let’s have a look at it.
Why Do Squirrels Eat Green Pine Cones?
Squirrels are not picky about their food as they can eat almost everything. But, squirrels prefer to eat green pines rather than mature pines because of specific reasons. Let’s have a look at all these reasons one by one.
- Firstly, squirrels like to eat green pines as they contain seeds that contain essential nutrients. However, seeds of green pine cones are also called nuts by many people. And these nuts contain a good amount of fiber, several vitamins like vitamin K, and L, thiamine, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, etc. As squirrels need healthy food, that’s why they go for green pine cones rather than mature green pine cones.
- However, squirrels eat green pine cones not only because of their healthy benefits, but green pine cones can serve them well when there is no more food. And knowing about this fact, squirrels collect green pines and bury them in soil. So that they can eat them during the period of need. However, squirrels tearing down green pine cones to their center and burying them so they cannot rot quickly because green pine cones are not fully matured.
- Moreover, green pine cones are more rigid than mature pine cones, which is also helpful for squirrel’s teeth. As rodents, squirrel’s teeth keep growing, and they have to keep them in shape by gnawing at hard objects like branches. However, eating green pine cones also help them to keep their teeth in shape.
Read also: Can Squirrels Eat Chocolate ?
Can Humans Eat Pine Cones?
A precise answer to this question is yes. Yes, we can eat pine cones. As pine cones offer nutrients to squirrels similarly, they are healthy to us. And deliver us several essential minerals and nutrients.
However, not only pine cones but there are several parts of pine tree which we can eat. As, we can eat pine cones, the bark of the tree, pine needles, resin, pine seeds which are also known as pine nuts, as well as we can eat pine pollens.
Moreover, you can make jam and pickle of pines. Not only this, but you can make pine cones syrup also.
However, whatever you want to make from pine cones, make sure that you cook them well before using them in any recipe. The reason is that pine cones, especially green pine cones, are stiff in texture. And can hurt your teeth.
Different Uses of Pine Trees and Pine Cones:
Pine cones are not only favorite to squirrels, but they are also edible to humans. And we can eat pine cones as well as several other parts of a pine tree. But, rather than that, pine cones and pine trees have the following advantages.
- We can use the bark of pine cones in smoking meat, which is also known as the seasoning of beef.
- Pine tree uses for making lumber for building and furniture.
- Pine cones also serve as rabbit food.
- Filling of mattresses and pillows
Moreover, another great advantage of pine trees is that they can save your soil from erosion. And this becomes possible when the strong roots of pine trees help to keep the soil in place.
One another interesting fact about pine cones is that you can use them in crafting. As, many people prepare many beautiful samples from them for decoration purposes.
Read also: Do Squirrels Eat Meat?
Why do squirrels eat green pine cones? Squirrels prefer to eat green pine cones because they contain healthy seeds, while mature pine cones don’t contain seeds. However, green pine cones are the unripe form of pine cones, and they have a green color. At the same time, the ripe cones have a brown color with no seeds inside them.
Squirrels not only like green pine cones for the sake of seeds, but they also prefer them as they can store them for a long time. For that, they tear them apart until their center as it helps not to rot pines quickly.
Moreover, pine cones are not edible for squirrels, but we can also eat them and use them in different recipes. But make sure that you boil them before using them in any recipe.