Douglas fir cones closeup

Douglas fir cones closeup

Douglas fir cones on the tree

Douglas fir cones on the tree

Good news for anyone who has helped Nature Consortium plant native trees in the West Duwamish Greenbelt!

Just south of Pathfinder School, in the relatively open meadow area west of the main trail into Pigeon Point Park, there is a sure sign that our restoration efforts are getting somewhere. A beautiful Douglas fir tree that was planted by a volunteer at some point in the past 5 years is producing cones! That’s right—one of our own baby trees has grown big enough to produce cones. These cones produce seeds and may very possibly give rise to some new Douglas fir seedlings in the coming years. While over the years we have lovingly planted and mulched thousands of small trees at Pigeon Point, Soundway, Riverview, and College Street Ravine we haven’t yet recorded any of these trees reproducing—until now.

Every week at our work parties we explain to our volunteers that we are all working together to restore the forest of the West Duwamish Greenbelt to be a self-sustaining, biologically diverse forest that supports a mix of long-lived conifers,  shorter-lived deciduous trees, and a varied understory of shrubs, ferns, and herbs. We typically have to talk about sustainable greenbelt health in the future tense because we know it will take  long time to really happen, but the new Douglas fir cones are in the present tense—those cones are here now thanks to the hard work and support provided by Nature Consortium volunteers.