The woody “cone” is not a cone at all! The fruit of European alder is termed a nutlet or a strobile. It is an egg-shaped, woody, cone-like structure less than 1 inch in size. They persist throughout the winter and serve as an excellent identification feature. The winged seeds disperse from the nutlet upon maturity.
Karren Wcisel, TreeTopics.com
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Alnus glutinosa, European alder, black alder, deciduous, tree