Belonging to the order Pinales, each pine tree bears a type of cone distinctive to that tree. In the United States, around 100 different species of trees produce seed bearing cones. Pine trees, in particular, have long, slender needles that grow in bunches and grow in wooded areas or get planted for windbreaks and other landscaping purposes.
The knobcone pine (Pinus attenuata), grows as a native in Oregon and California. According to Oregon State University, the yellowish-brown 3-to-6-inch cones have scales that form knob-like projections on the outside. Cones grow in clusters of three to six along the stem and branches and need fire to open them so they can shed their seeds. Some cones stay attached to the tree for so long that the tree grows around it, giving this tree the nickname, "tree that swallows its cones."
The mugo pine (Pinus mugo) grows as a stout, shrub-like evergreen tree, anywhere from 3 to 20 feet tall, depending on the cultivar. According to Clemson University Cooperative Extension, the glossy dark brown cones of this tree grow either alone or in groups of two to three and are 1 to 2 inches long and 1 inch wide.
A tall, narrow tree that can reach over 70 feet tall, the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) grows mainly in the western United States. According to North Dakota State University, the brown cones on this pine tree grow in clusters and form 3 to 5 inches long, characterized by a small, sharp thorn at the tip of each cone scale. Each of the triangular scales that cover the cone harbors two small, dark brown seeds about 1/4 inch in size.
A medium sized tree, growing up to 50 feet in height, the Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) wears orangish-brown, peeling bark around the upper two-thirds of a mature tree. Whorled buds give way to loose clusters of dull, gray brown cones. Each cone measures 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long and is swathed with diamond shape scales, states North Dakota State University. Under each scale sits two winged, brownish gray seeds.
Bearing the largest cones of all pine trees in the world, according to the website Green Nature, the white pine (Pinus strobus) can grow over 150 feet tall. Brown, diamond shaped scales cover the thick, oblong cones of the white pine. At the tip of each scale lays a whitish-gray hook.