Cone and Seed Maturation of Southern Pines
If slightly reduced yields and viability are acceptable, loblolly and slash cone collections can begin 2 to 3 weeks before maturity if the cones are stored before processing. Longleaf(P. palestris Mill.) pine cones should be collected only when mature, as storage decreased germination of seeds from immature cones. Biochemical analyses to determine reducing sugar contents of seeds and x-rays to determine if the seedscoats are filled show promise as seed maturity indices.