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A New Technique for Cone Collection

Recently, there has been considerable interest in various techniques of cone collection. When collecting from standing trees, none of the new cone collection techniques have been practical for our work. We have found topping the trees at the Seed Production Areas, hauling the tops to a building, and then picking the cones in the building to be satisfactory. In 1964 white spruce cones were collected from the Watersmeet Seed Production Area, Watersmeet, Mich. The costs of collection were high, $44.70 per bushel, and included training a five-man climbing crew and pruning the trees to be climbed. The cones were picked out of the tops of the standing trees. In 1967, 24 white spruce trees within the Seed Production Area were designated to be topped and one tree was designated to be cut. Between August 14-16 these trees were topped at a point 2 in.-4 in. in diameter. Topping may be done either by climbing the seed tree and sawing off the crown above a 4-in. diameter or by shooting out the top with a 30.06 or any large caliber rifle. For this collection, we climbed the trees and sawed off the tops. Prior to topping, a plastic tarpaulin was laid on the ground. Cones shaken loose from the impact of the falling top were easily collected by rolling up the plastic and hauling it to the stock processing building. The tops were brought to the Nursery stock processing building 3 miles distant in a dump truck and trailer. Selecting crop trees, topping, and hauling the tops to the Nursery required 75 hours at $2.41 per hour for a total cost of $182.42 including mileage.

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Author(s): Stuart H. Slayton

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 20, Number 3 (1969)

Volume: 20

Number: 3