If you are looking to pick up some extra cash, the Department of Natural Resources is paying cash money for people to pick up pine cones.

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How does some extra cash sound? High gas prices and the overall inflation have everyone looking for a side hustle.

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If you have some free time coming up in September there's a way you can make some extra cash by picking up pine cones.

DNR is Offering $100 a Bushel of Pine Cones

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The DNR needs your help collecting pine cones from Red Pines. They are paying $100 a bushel but the pine cones have to be fresh. They don't want you to pick up pine cones off the ground, in this case, they want you to pick them from the tree.

How Much is a Bushel?

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If you have not done any farming, a bushel is two five-gallon buckets. So that is $50 bucks a bucket of pine cones. Not too shabby for something that grows all over the Lower and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Make sure it's only pine cones that are in the bucket. No needles or debris, just fresh pine cones from red pines. The DNR does not want pine cones from the ground, they want you to pick them from the lower branches.

What Does a Pine Cone Red Pine Tree Look Like?

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Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources
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It is important to know exactly what a pine cone from a Red Pine tree looks like since they are close to Austrian Pine and Scotts Pine. The DNR only wants cones from the Red Pine. Click here to see the difference.

How Do I Get Paid to Collect Pine Cones?

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In order to get paid for collecting pine cones you first need to register with the DNR here.

Once you gather your pine cones you will then need to set up an appointment to drop them off. It looks like Cadillac is the closest location to West Michigan and you can call them at 231.775.9727 to set up an appointment. If you are further up north or on the east side of the state there are other drop-off locations that can be found on the DNR's website.

Why Do the DNR Want Pine Cones From Red Pines?

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According to MLive, the reason the DNR want people to collect fresh pine cones from red pine trees is that is where they get the seeds to plant new trees in Michigan.

This could be some fun for the whole family so if you have a stash of 5-gallon buckets and you know where some red pines are, you and the kids stand to make some pretty good extra cash.

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