As we can see on this larch, male and female cones are sometimes directed to grow on the opposite side of the branch. We were told in school that this mechanism works against self-fertilization. Also they flower in different times, so they are mostly fertilized from the other conifers.
When I saw this picture, I got that idea, that maybe they face the branches on above by design: To decrease the genetic uniformity at least a little.
But how important this effect actually is? And how big is the genetical difference between two branches? Are there any other factors taking effect in the tilt of the cones?