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

Pinecone business

The author's wife collects cones in a metal pail. Note her use of a hard hat and gloves.


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.)


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!

10/18/2017 4:27:49 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!

10/15/2017 12:05:56 PM

Hi I live in Florida and we have lots of pinecones, does anyone know where I can sell them ?

10/15/2017 12:05:54 PM

Hi I am interested in selling Florida pinecones, is there a market for these ?

7/13/2017 10:58:39 AM

Hello, I'm very interested in making money selling pinecones in Georgia, but not sure how to get started: Could someone please give me some advice? My email: Have a wonderful day everyone!

7/10/2017 5:42:45 PM

I sell different types of pinecones you can contact me at

4/9/2016 10:05:40 AM

Greetings, I am interested in contacted pine cone gathers, please respond to thank you

11/11/2015 10:09:24 PM

Where can I buy the mesh material that I see pinecones wrapped in at the arts and craft stores? I've tried googling it and always come up blank.

9/22/2013 10:08:05 AM

If you need pinecones for wreaths and/or grave blankets during the holiday season, check out our website ( for VERY COMPETATIVE PRICES AND FREE SHIPPING!! We think you’ll love our reliable service too. Remember for any size order, large or small we cater to all… Ron RTPinecones Gainesville, FL 32607 (586)-202-6564

penny frazier
8/5/2013 3:38:13 PM

We purchase Pinyon pine cones before they open.    I am buying for $12.00 per bushel of cone picked in September, when the nuts are close to ripe.

To tell if nuts are ripe:

SPlit the cone and when the shell is well formed and more or less hard, it is time to pick. Of course, pinyon trees are  not huge high trees and picking is more or less done without much in tooling. However, if the tree is large, you can make a picker like a fruit picker with a juice can. Or, take a telescoping rod, like a pool cleaner and add a metail garden rake head to one end. Use a screw to hold it. Then grab the cones with the rake.


5/9/2013 2:01:12 AM

Dear Author, May I know how to find Pinecone buyers ? Regards, Shan

patricia ball
9/4/2009 8:29:14 AM

I have gone thru several search engines to find out how to pick the pine cones from the trees but all I'm getting is how to make pretty little crafts after the cones are picked! How do you "pick" the pine cones from the pine trees???

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