Overgrown jack pine trees in Brighton will provide seeds statewi - WNEM TV 5

Overgrown jack pine trees in Brighton will provide seeds statewide

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Source: MI DNR Source: MI DNR

About 33 acres of overgrown jack pine trees in Livingston County, Michigan, are being harvested to provide seeds for planting new trees across the state.

The overgrown trees are at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Tree Improvement Center near Brighton.

“The seed orchard is about 35 years old and the trees are too large to efficiently pick cones from,” said Jason Hartman, a silviculturist with the DNR’s Forest Resources Division.

Silviculture is the branch of forestry that focuses on the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet the needs and values of the DNR.

Jack pine cones need heat to open. In natural conditions, that heat would come from a forest fire or sunlight. The DNR will pick pine cones from the cut trees and then heat them in kilns to release the seeds. The seeds will be used to plant seedlings and regenerate jack pine forests across the state. Timber from these fallen trees is also being used by a local logger.

The DNR is looking for volunteers to help pick cones from the fallen trees. Those interested in helping out should contact Jason Hartman at his email address, hartmanj@michigan.gov.

Hartman said the DNR plans to replant the blocks of harvested pines on a staggered schedule so that the future seed orchard will contain trees of differing ages.

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