Tomorrow morning Lydia and Larry Vassar and I are going to the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation to help out with the Parry Pinyon Pine Protection Project.  We’re working to make the pinyon groves more fire resistant so that if a wildfire were to come through, it would be a low-intensity one, rather than a devastating conflagration. We’ll be limbing the lower pinyon pine branches, removing vegetation growing beneath the trees, and  pruning  the surrounding shrubs to eliminate potential fuel ladders. We’re learning to use traditional environmental practices to enhance the health of the groves.

Sean Milanovich roasting the closed green pine cones over an open fire to help remove the incredibly sticky pine pitch and to open the cones to release the nuts. A large group of us worked all day gathering the pinyon pine cones in the Thomas Mountain area about a month ago.

Once the pine cones opened after roasting and cooled down, we removed the the delicious and nutritious pine nuts, a very labor-intensive process.

Parry Pinyon Pines Protection Project Flyer: Click on the link for more information about the project. Below is an excerpt from the flyer:

Pinyon pine trees are found in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. There are two species of pinyon: Pinus monophylla and P. quadrifolia. Both species are culturally important to the Cahuilla Indians and other Southern California Tribes. The southern end of the Thomas Mountain and Garner Valley areas are the northern extent of the Pinus quadrifolia or four-needle pinyon (aka Parry pine), and its range extends deep into Baja California. Pinus monophylla (single needle pinyon) is found on the desert side of the Peninsular Range, usually between 3800 and 6000 feet in elevation.

Today, with nearly 100 years of fire suppression activity and the suspension of native burning and traditional gathering practices to help manage the “wild” lands, vegetation is very dense in the areas where these trees grow.

Posted by deborah small

11 Comments

  1. Does anybody know where I can buy Pinus quadrifolia
    trees to plant in my yard in Southern California. I’m replacing a large Ponderosa pine that was killed by bark beetles.

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  2. I’ve been searching everywhere for a source for bulk pinyon cones for holiday decorations. I was wondering what you do with your shelled cones? Or if you know of a source for the floral trade. Thanks, Mickey

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  3. […] Originally Posted by neralich Hot Dam that thing is sweet, congrats!!! What are pinyon cones? I was curious also and found this site which talks about pinyon cones. Pinyon Pine Cones / Pinus Quadrifolia Deborah Small's Ethnobotany Blog […]

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  4. Hi Deborah, The pine nut roasting is a great story. We eatalot of pine nuts as we live in Italy ( \9lots of foraged cuisine). I am wondering if we might be able to feature it, and you, on our blog? My husband and I launched YourGardenShow almost a year ago to the day. This month, 6 months in the making , we launch a new initiative = our Citizen Science activity portal of crowd-sourced plant phenological data – with the oversight of environmental agencies. While YourGardenShow is principally for gardeners, this set of initiatives is for those who might not have their own garden.

    If you get a chance, would you please look at our site, the Citizen Science pages, and see if it has anything you might be able applicable to you or something you’d be interested to write about? Hope so. Contact me with any questions or comments or if there is a way you think we might be able to work together to get the word out.

    Best to you and a long and leisurely spring.

    Lisa Finerty
    Strategic Outreach Director
    Your Garden Show
    Twitter: yourgardenshow
    Like on Facebook
    http://www.YourGardenShow.com
    Linkedin
    San Francisco
    415-738-2476

    Find inspiration,
    grow your garden,
    share with others.

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  5. I came across your site as I was looking for photos of the phases of growth of the two-needle pinyon. You have alot here – and all of it beautiful and interesting – so that you for the visit. However, it doesn’t look like you have my exact type of pine. My husband and I are putting together an project for people to find plants at various phenophases in their gardens and in nature. It appears on our website, YourGardenShow.com, in combination with USANPN, in the tab “Citizen Science”.
    YourGardenShow is free, and is organized around a garden journal which you can chose to share or not and so it makes phenophase recording and reporting easy. If there is any utility you can see in using it, to bring your message to a potentially new audience, please do use it! I know many would be interested in your work.

    Thanks again for the visit. Keep up the good work. Lisa@YourGardenShow.com

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    1. deborah small April 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      hi lisa, i just had a chance to visit Your Garden Show. what an amazing site. i’ll talk to a few friends to think about how we might intersect with it. all the best, deborah

      > New comment on your post “Pinyon Pine Cones / Pinus Quadrifolia” > Author : lisa marini finerty (IP: 89.202.249.67 , 89.202.249.67) > E-mail : lisa@YourGardenShow.com > URL : http://YourGardenShow.com > Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/89.202.249.67

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  6. Cort Schwanebeck March 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Deborah,
    I know this is an older post …but I’m in the search for Pinyon Pine Cones in bulk for possible export. Do you know of any harvesters that would be interested in selling?
    Your website is beautiful and very informative!
    Thank you for sharing,
    Cort

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    1. hi cort, i believe that all of the folks i know who gather pinyon pine cones are gathering for their own use or for elders in their communities. no one gathers enough to sell for export. but i’ll let those i’ve worked with know of your interest. best, deborah

      New comment on your post “Pinyon Pine Cones / Pinus Quadrifolia” > Author : Cort Schwanebeck (IP: 69.228.84.136 , > adsl-69-228-84-136.dsl.pltn13.pacbell.net) > E-mail : cortmn@hotmail.com > URL : > Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/69.228.84.136

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  7. Achem Nahanish Sean. Allowah

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  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eden Beth, Pat Murkland. Pat Murkland said: Great pinyon pine nut harvest this year. Work to protect trees continues. #NativeAmerican http://bit.ly/cSKPKD Via @onlineherbalist […]

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  9. Beautiful web site-Do you know where I can purchase 5 to 9 Pinion cones?I need them to complete a project and cannot find them on the web.Being in New England,I have many cones available-but not that one…..Thanks

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