ST. PAUL — To address a shortage of black spruce seed, the Minnesota state forest nursery needs an additional 800 bushels of black spruce cones in the next few weeks.

The Department of Natural Resources relies on individual collectors to provide cones to the state forest nursery. The DNR can direct people to where they can find black spruce cones and will purchase those they collect for $70 per bushel.

Prior to collection, those interested are instructed to contact one of the following 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.