Michigan DNR offering $75 for bushels of red pine cones


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)- Need some quick cash and like the outdoors? The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering $75 for bushels of red pine cones.

From September 1 to September 30, Michiganders can drop off red pine cones by appointment at six DNR locations, three in the UP and three in the lower peninsula.

These pine cones can be found from felled treetops from timber sales, in state forests and in squirrel caches.

The DNR stressed that yes, you can steal from squirrels.

Logger permission is required to pick from timber sales. Pickers must always wear a hardhat.

Before you can get paid, you must register as a vendor here.

Before picking, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Make sure youre picking the right species of pine cone. Red pines have craggy, reddish bark and 4-6 inch needles. Scotch and Austrian pine cones won’t be accepted.
  • Cones should be picked from the tree. Cones on the ground are likely too old or wet.
  • Clear off debris from the cones.
  • The cone scales should be closed with a bit of purple or green tint. If the cones are brown and open, they’re too far gone. They should look like the above image.

The DNR stresses that the cones should be stored in cool, dry mesh bags such as onion bags. Do not use burlap or plastic bags.

To drop off cones, deliver them by appointment to approved DNR locations with your name, county where you picked the cones, and if the cones are natural or from a plantation.

The cones will be used in planting new trees and replenishing forests.

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