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Pinecone packaging

 
 
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 06:18 pm
Every year when I send out holiday gifts I pad the box with crumpled paper because I refuse to use styrofoam.

When I was out walking today I picked up a pinecone, which are abundant here in the Pacific Northwest, and I started thinking that they might make a great packing material. Plus, they'd be a whole lot prettier than crumpled paper.

Do you think this would work or do you think everything would arrive smashed to smithereens?
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boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 06:23 pm
Another plus: if people dumped them in the trash they would just beautify the local landfill.
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 06:25 pm
boomerang- I don't know for sure, but might there not be some creepy crawlies occupying the cones? Laughing
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boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 06:30 pm
That's a good point, Phoenix.

I suppose I could quarantine them for a period beforehand....
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roger
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 07:36 pm
They're not really compressable enough, are they? Except in one direction, I mean.
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princessash185
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 07:38 pm
I'm worried they might collapse if you got the ones that are hard enough to fall off the tree. . . you could try for the softer ones, or soak the older ones in water for a while and see if you could soften them up. . .

That does sound like a great idea, though. . . how pretty and unique. . .
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Piffka
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 07:38 pm
Pinecones might be ok, fir cones probably wouldn't be so good. It's a nice idea!
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boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 08:06 pm
Hi everybody. Thank you for your thoughts.

The cones from my neighbor's tree are not like the typical cones (I have no idea what kind of tree it is). They are about six inches long and only about one and one half inches in diameter. They don't unfurl like you think of a pinecone doing but are pretty conpact. They are really fresh so they're still springy. They smell great and are very pretty.

I brought a few in to dry out so that I can gauge their springiness when drier. It just seemed to me that they would stay as springy as crumpled paper which certainly lacks stability.

A few of them are pretty sappy so that may create a few other problems.....

I thought it seemed like a nice idea. Kind of a surprise when they opened the box. I'm glad to hear that others think its a neat idea too.
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littlek
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 08:23 pm
Very cool, let me know how they dry out!
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littlek
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 08:24 pm
You know, I think you can actually use popcorn, if it's fresh. I wonder if it'd get too humid and just shrivel up.....?
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boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 09:26 pm
Ummmm. Popcorn. Talk about smelling nice.

That's a great idea, littlek. I could toss in some cranberries (another local crop) and some string and it could be Christmas decorations in a box!
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boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 09:27 pm
Oh! And maybe one of those clove studded oranges....

Suddenly, it feels like Christmas!
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sozobe
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 09:30 pm
When I lived in L.A. I had a big box of evergreens from Smith and Hawken (Smith and Hawken? I think so) delivered every year. It was incredibly fun to open. Big fresh boughs of various kinds of evergreens, cedar, various pinecones, etc. Smelled sooooooooo wonderful.

I think it would be cool to get nice fragrant pinecones in a package even if they weren't the packing material, per se.
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 09:35 pm
Given the diseases that have recently been infesting various species of trees, I'd be very cautious of using any kind of plant material in a package that was going across state lines. Maybe check with the county extension office.

We've got a situation here right now, where they're going in to cut down hundreds of mature trees that got infected with something that was transported in from another area - came in on a plant that isn't effected by the blight - but maples and oaks and elms are being taken down. I sure hope it doesn't end up like Dutch Elm disease did. That decimated so many beautiful city parks where I grew up.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 09:47 pm
Yikes! eBeth - that is certainly something to consider.

Still, Oregon trees are sent all over America this time of year for sale as Christmas trees.

Sozobe's boughs probably came from here too - it's a major industry.

You can buy 7 or 8 foot trees here for about $10 - $15. Christmas week they practically give them away.

Sozobe, that box sounds (smells) terrific. I love that smell. I have about a 45 foot tree right outside my front door. It's branches spread out to about a 20 foot distance. Little Mo and I use it as our rainy day fortress since you can sit under it in the pouring rain and never get wet. And oh that smell.
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 09:50 pm
I'd check with the county folks on it. Maybe there's some easy way to sterilize the product?
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princessash185
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:03 pm
pinecones shouldn't be too much of a problem. . . if they managed to fall, it means the tree was healthy enough to seed, and blighted trees usually won't. . .
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Mr Stillwater
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:03 pm
I think you may find that the extra weight of the cones may start to push up the cost of the postage. I have seen popcorn used as a substitute for foam packing. Personally I like the bubblewrap, it is reusable as long as it hasn't been taped up.
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princessash185
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:07 pm
The idea here is to be pretty and festive :-)
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sozobe
 
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Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2003 10:11 pm
ehBeth, good point. Sobering. The neighborhood where I grew up was decimated by Dutch Elm Disease. Used to be the streets were arched corridors, gorgeous. Now it's some lonely scraggly little trees and a lot of empty space.

boomer, your tree sounds just wonderful.
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