Pine cone collection complete, Seed Orchard in Mt. Ida reopened

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Ouachita National Forest officials reopened the Seed Orchard located in Mt. Ida yesterday now that the pine cone collection has been completed.

The Seed Orchard was closed recently to allow contractors to collect cones from the Shortleaf Pine trees, which only occurs every six to seven years. Recent wet weather caused the equipment used to make the collection to become stuck in mud causing delays.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused hunters who use the area this time of year,” said Ben Rowland, seed orchard manager. “It is important that we collect the pine cones when they become available because this happens only six to seven years.”

The seed orchard at Mt. Ida is the primary source of genetically improved Shortleaf Pine seed used for reforestation on the Ouachita National Forest.