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The Michigan DNR is paying people to collect pine cones

Red Pines are in high demand
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources needs help collecting pine cones. It’s paying people $75 for red pine cones September 1 through September 30.

Red Pines are among the most common trees in Michigan, and one of the most in demand trees.

“It’s important from the prospective of being able to take out Carbon from the atmosphere and store it. And it’s also important as a basis of our forest products industry,” said Richard Kobe, MSU Professor of Forestry.

The trees are used to make things like utility poles, 2x4′s and log cabins. The DNR is collecting these pine cones to replace trees cut down for industry.

Kobe said this year, red pines aren’t producing as many seeds to keep up with demand.

“Red pine is in an off year this year it’s not producing as much seed and those seeds are needed to grow up seedlings for reforestation efforts,” said Kobe.

The DNR is only taking red pine cones, Scotch and Austrian pine cones will not be accepted. Red pines have craggy, reddish bark and 4- to 6-inch needles that grow in pairs.

If you are picking pine cones, the DNR said its best to pick them straight from the tree. It also said you should store cones in a cool, dry place in mesh bags. The DNR will provide onion bags will be provided at drop-off locations. Don’t use burlap or plastic bags, which can hold moisture and ruin the cones.

You need to register with the state in order to get paid.

Drop off cones by appointment at select DNR Customer Service Centers and Wyman Nursery:

  • Marquette - Bob Tylka, 906-250-9225
  • Newberry - Jason Tokar, 906-440-1348
  • Wyman Nursery (Manistique) - Sheila Clark, 906-341-2518
  • Gaylord - Tim Greco, 989-619-5519
  • Roscommon - Jason Hartman, 989-390-0279
  • Cadillac - Sue Sobieski, 231-775-9727, ext. 6904

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