Jack pines being harvested

BRIGHTON, Mich. (AP) — Officials say about 33 acres of overgrown jack pine trees in Livingston County are being harvested to provide seeds for new trees around Michigan.

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

Jack pine cones need heat to open, which under natural conditions would come from a forest fire or sunlight. The DNR will pick pine cones from the cut trees and heat them in kilns to release the seeds. They’ll be planted statewide to regenerate jack pine forests.

Volunteers are needed to help pick the cones.

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

Anyone interested in helping should Jason Hartman at hartmanj@michigan.gov.