Collecting Conifer Cones

Contact the area forestry office drop off location in your area before collecting for the quota of cone or seeds they will purchase plus instructions on proper collecting, handling and labeling requirements. Collecting, storing, and delivering large quantities of high-quality seed, you are helping to grow deciduous forest adapted to Minnesota.

SpeciesCrop freq.
(years)
Time to collect conesCone ripenessBearing Age (min years)Range of pds/seed/
bushel of cones
Average
seeds/pound

Average
seeds/oz.

Production Cycle
(years)
Flowering Dates
Tamarack3–4AugustTan20–400.25–0.75280,000

17,500

1April– May
Balsam fir2–3AugustPurple–Brown15–202.0–2.560,000

3,750

1May
White spruce2–6AugustTan20–250.4–1.2180,000

11,250

1May
White pine3–10SeptemberReddish– Purple5–100.6–1.022,000

1,375

2May–June
White cedar2–3SeptemberTan20–301.0320,000

20,000

1April–May
Jack pine3–4SeptemberTan3–150.4–0.8110,000

6,875

2April–May
Red pine3–7SeptemberPurple20–250.5–0.850,000

3,125

2May–June
Black spruce 4–5SeptemberPurple30–400.25–0.75380,000

27,375

1May–June
Red cedar 2–3SeptemberBlue107.0–9.040,000

2,500

1April–May