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How to Collect Pine Nuts

We will show you how to collect pine nuts. Pine nuts have served as a staple food for indigenous cultures for over hundreds of years now. Gathered from the cones of the scrub pinyon pine tree, the harvest of pine nuts begins even when the cones are still in the pine trees, regarded green, and the process continues until the mature cones start fallling from the trees. Before, you start collecting pine nuts in the wild, you must first check with your state's conservation agency to know the exact harvesting limits and other restrictions as well. Here is how to collect pine nuts:


Collecting Green


  • Spread a large tarp below the pinyon tree.


  • Place a tall ladder against the tree trunk very carefully.


  • Climb the ladder slowly and use a wire hook to take off the branches containing the pine cones.  


  • Use your hands to detach the cones from the branches. You can throw them on to the tarp below the tree gently.


Collecting Mature Nuts


  • The cones that have fallen below the pinyon tree can be picked.


  • Lay the tarp down below the tree.


  • Shake the tree with force, so to cause more cones to fall from the tree.


  • Pull the branches toward the ground and remove the mature pine cones by using the hook.


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How To Collect Pine Nuts