2008 Plus Tree Protection in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Project:  Plus Tree Protection in the Greater Yellowstone Area; GYGT Seed Zone

Agency/Forest or Park/District: Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks, Wyoming

Project coordinator: Liz Davy


Liz Davy- GYCC Whitebark Subcomittee Chairperson, PO Box 1888 Jackson, WY 83001  307-739-5562  edavy@fs.fed.us

Ellen Jungck- GYCC Whitebark Subcomittee Member, PO Box 186 Dubios, WY 82513  307-455-4164  ejungck@fs.fed.us

Source of funding /amount

FHP: $1,816

Supplemental funding: $10,690 from YNP, SNF, BDNF, FHP.

Dates of restoration efforts   Summer 2008


Over 70 whitebark pine plus trees have been selected throughout the GYA.  These plus trees will potentially provide rust resistant seed sources for the GYGT seed zone.  If the trees prove resistant, their scion will be used to create GYA seed orchards that will be used to produce resistant seedlings for out-planting in high priority restoration areas in the GYA.  Mountain pine beetle epidemics are present throughout the entire GYA and prevention of attacks to these high value plus trees is essential for success of this project.  In the recent past, all units within the GYA have protected their superior trees on an annual or a biannual basis, depending on the type of protection needed.  Efforts will continue until the mountain pine beetle epidemic subsides. These trees will need continued protection from mountain pine beetle until they are no longer needed to provide seed for rust resistant seedlings or scion for seed orchards.

Acres/ha treated    18 treesGrandTetonYellowstone_Davy_2008_Teewinot_Plus_6863


Trees were treated with Verbenone

Planting? If so, source of seedlings? Resistance?  No


The verbenone was successfully deployed in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks prior to the emergence of the mountain pine beetle.  However, this process will need to be repeated during the spring 2009 to ensure the continued protection of the plus trees.

Through the funds provided we successfully continued the protection of 18 plus trees in the GYA.  These trees will become integral to the future restoration of whitebark pine.  We learned that in order to ensure the efficacy of single tree protection from mountain beetle activity, a “pheromone cloud” must be created by applying 6-10 verbenone pouches on adjacent trees.  These pouches should be within 50 to 75 feet of one another in a circular pattern around the target tree.

Monitoring since completion of the project

            Dates Trees are monitored at least annually for condition

            Plans for future monitoring? Trees will continue to be monitored as long as they are part of the tree improvement program

Will outcome meet goals?

Yes, all trees are surviving.

Future actions/follow up?

Trees will continue to be monitored as long as they are part of the tree improvement program.

Miscellaneous comments

Due to the current climate related shifts in mountain pine phenology, we will must deploy verbenone pouches in earlier in the season.  Adult mountain pine beetle are overwintering in the tree they entered the prior fall and emerging far earlier than the developing larvae.  Depending upon the continued increase in the length of the beetle flight season in combination with the 120 day effective duration of the verbenone pouches being utilized, multiple verbenone applications may become necessary.