State forest nursery needs black spruce cones

January 6, 2020

Want to help Minnesota’s forests grow healthy and strong and make some extra money at the same time? The Department of Natural Resources has a great opportunity.

The state forest nursery is in short supply of black spruce seed. To address this, an additional 800 bushels of black spruce cones are needed within the next few weeks. The DNR relies on individual collectors to provide cones to the state forest nursery.

The nursery dries the cones, extracts the seeds, and sells that seed to land managers. Approximately 6,000 acres of black spruce in Minnesota are replanted each year with seeds from the nursery.

“This shortage will significantly reduce our ability to seed new black spruce forests this spring,” said Mike Reinikainen, forestry silviculture program coordinator.

The DNR can direct people to where they can find black spruce cones and will purchase those they collect for $70 per bushel.

Before collecting cones, contact one of the following DNR seed-buying stations for more information and directions on how to present cones for purchase: Warroad, Baudette, Orr, Littlefork, Tower, Two Harbors, Hibbing, Cloquet, Minnesota State Forest Nursery, Bemidji, Deer River, and Northome. Phone numbers are available on the seed drop off locations webpage.

Cones may be collected on the collectors’ property or on state forest land. To be eligible for purchase, cones must be high quality, ripe, and free of stems and debris. Black spruce cones are needed now to the end of February.

To learn more, visit the Forestry Division’s seed and cone collection website.