Make Money: Selling Pinecones Business

As autumn's days turn crisp and clear, its time for gathering and selling pinecones business for extra cash, including how to get started, testing for harvest and gathering basics.

| September/October 1982

Make money with a selling pinecones business for extra cash during fall. 

Make Money: Selling Pinecones Business

As autumn's days dawn crisp and clear, 'tis then the greatest time of year to gather pinecones in a stash . . . and turn them in for extra cash! 

Gathering the distinctive seedpods of evergreen trees is an activity that can be enjoyable, environmentally positive, suitable for folks of all ages . . . and a danged good seasonal moneymaker!

Every fall, you see, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, various state forestry agencies, and many privately owned timber corporations eagerly purchase pinecones. The buyers are, of course, interested in the seeds sheltered within, which can be germinated in nurseries and (later) transplanted to the forest.

In 1979 I harvested cones near Missoula, Montana for Champion Timberlands, an industrial wood producer. At that time Champion paid $9 a bushel for ponderosa pine, $15 for Douglas fir, and $26 for western larch. And over a period of several weeks, I was able to earn an average gross income of $17 per hour. (Granted, I was already an experienced cone gatherer, and that certainly helped, but I know a few inexperienced pickers who did almost as well . . . although I must admit that 1979 did produce a bumper crop of cones in our area.)


1/30/2018 7:21:37 PM

hi i livein el paso tx have a lots of different pinecones, does anyone know where I can sell them? thanks

1/30/2018 7:21:35 PM

Hi I live in El Paso Texas and have lots of pinecones. does anyone know where I can sell them? Thanks!!

10/18/2017 4:27:51 PM

I live in Maine and have a pinecone bonanza! They are from very old northern white pines. If anyone is interested please email me at Thanks!

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