2007 WBP Plus Tree Cone Collection and Identification

Project:    Whitebark Pine plus trees cone collection and identification


Agency/Forest or Park/District:   Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA), Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho

Project coordinator:   Karl Fuelling

Contact: Karl Fuelling- Forest Silviculturist, Sawtooth N.F., 2306 Hiland Ave., Burley, ID 83318.  208-678-0430   kfuelling@fs.fed.us

Cooperators: None

Source of funding /amount

FHP: $4,200

Supplemental funding: $2,100 from NFTM (Timber management)

Dates of restoration efforts

Summer 2007 and 2008


The Sawtooth is one of 19 Forest in 2 regions involved in a project to find whitebark pine trees which are genetically resistant to white pine blister rust. The Sawtooth has identified 15 plus trees from which to gather seeds. 1800 seeds must be collected from each plus tree. To date the Sawtooth has collected enough seeds from 6 plus trees, with 9 trees still needing to have seed collected.

Acres/ha treated

15 trees


The cones of the selected plus trees will be caged in the early summer to protect them from Clark’s Nutcracker. The trees will be climbed in early fall to pick the cones.

Planting? If so, source of seedlings? Resistance?



WBP plus trees were inventoried in June and only 5 trees were still alive.  Ten new trees were identified and verbenone was applied to the trees in early July.  A contract has been awarded to cage and collect cones from the 15 trees in 2008.  Cones will be caged in late June/early July and collected in September 2008.

The verbenone worked well protecting the trees from MPB.  One tree was attacked by MPB but it appears to be a strip attack and the tree may survive.  The other trees were not attacked.

Monitoring since completion of the project

            Dates   11 trees had cones collected on 2008. In 2009 all 15 trees were climbed and enough seed was collected from 14 of them to meet the required number of seeds to begin the rust screening trials. The 15th tree has had cones collected in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

            Plans for future monitoring?   Plus tree areas will be monitored for mountain pine beetle activity and verbenone applied if needed.

Will outcome meet goals?

Yes, rust screening trials have begun for the seed zone (Bitteroot/Idaho Plateau) that the Sawtooth NF is a part of.

Future actions/follow up?

One tree still needs cones collected. Cones may be collected in 2014 if the cone crop justifies it.

Miscellaneous comments

2007 was a poor cone year so the contract was awarded to cage and collect the cones in 2008.