Great excitement yesterday morning (11th July 2017) to hear the familiar call of nutcrackers in the garden of the rectory where I’m staying here in Hurdal! Excited to see cones falling from the tree (cut off by a nutcracker), and lots of empty cones on the ground! More information with the pictures!
I’m the “Preacher” in residence this week staying in the rectory (presteboligen) which is now run by the ecovillage ;)
I was sitting working with the window open and I heard the familiar call of a nutcracker….
In the garden, I found several good looking pine trees!
5 needles suggests probably Pinus cembra, Swiss Pine, Arolla Pine or Austrian Stone Pine (Cembrafuru) (I saw this species recently on my trip to Austria) or the closely related Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica, previously P. cembra spp. sibirica) (Korean pine, P. koraiensis, is another possibility)
P. cembra and sibirica pine nuts are important food for Siberian Nutcrackers, mainly an invasive species to Norway (when there’s a failure of the nut supply in Siberia). However, many Pinus cembra trees have been planted in Norway in the last 30-50 years as ornamental trees and many of them are now producing nuts….in Trondheim, near where I live, some nutcrackers stayed after the last invasion and are now a local breeding bird thanks to the presence of their main food supply! The birds are now helping in the spread of this species as they cache the seeds for the winter in the forest as well as locally (there are now thousands of young trees growing invading woodland on Lade in the city)! Nutcrackers have also sowed seed in my own garden (where they also feed on hazel nuts)…
Under the trees was littered with the nut shells and empty cones
P. cembra and P. sibirica are also species with nuts large enough to be useful as edible pine nuts for humans along with Pinus pinea – Mediterranean Stone pine Pinus koraiensis – Korean pine Pinus gerardiana – Chilgoza pine Pinus pumila – Siberian dwarf pine Pinus armandii – Chinese white pine Pinus bungeana – lacebarus cembra – Swiss pinek pine
I opened and cracked a few pine nut shells
We took these along as an exclusive offering for dinner that we had been invited to :) They weren’t fully ripe… would probably have been best to store the cones first…
Pine nuts and cones on a bed of Plantago major!
Edibles & ornamental plants