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DNR forestry area offices purchasing native cones

Interest in collecting cones has been high this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The purchasing of cones by local forestry area offices started earlier this month and runs through October.

In 2009, ripe cones collected from jack pine and black spruce will be purchased for the remainder of this fall. The DNR will pay the following prices per bushel, which equals 9.6 gallons: jack pine, $20; black spruce, $50.

This year the DNR will not purchase red (Norway) pine, tamarack, white pine and white cedar cones.

Before collecting cones, contact your local area forestry office for a list of tree species and quantities accepted, and the dates and times when seeds will be purchased. For area forestry office contact information, visit DNR Web site or call 651-259-5300.

Each area office purchases cones from a specific seed zone. To find out the seed zone of your local area office, visit DNR Web site.

Follow these steps when collecting cones:

• Collect ripe cones, which are closed and not open.

• Collect cones free of insects and diseases.

• Collect from well-formed, healthy trees native to Minnesota.

• Store in a breathable container, such as a burlap sack or open five-gallon pail.

• Keep collection in a cool location out of the sun.

• Separate species into individual bags.

• Label each bag with date collected, tree species and seed zone.

For information on collecting cones, visit the DNR Web site or contact Craig VanSickle at Badoura State Nursery by calling 218-652-2385.

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