2014 Whitebark Pine Cone Collections

Project:  FY14 Whitebark Pine Cone Collections

Agency/Forest or Park/District:  Helena National Forest

Project coordinator:  Riley Dopler

Contact:  Riley Dopler, Culturist, 2880 Skyway Dr., Helena, MT 59602, rdopler@fs.fed.us


Source of funding/amount FHP:  WBP: $8,000 of funding provided; FS supplemental funding: $8,530 (salaries, travel, equipment and supplies)

Dates of restoration efforts:  FY 2014

Objectives:  Perform operational cone collections to begin building a seed bank for whitebark pine restoration planting across the Helena National Forest (HNF).

Acres/ha treated:  20 trees across 30-60 acres to achieve a viable seedlot

Methods:  Duck Creek pass (Big Belt Mountains) was identified to be in the top 50th percentile in rust resistance.

Planting? If so, source of seedlings? Resistance?  N/A

Outcome:  The project is complete and the seed is at the Coeur d’Alene Nursery for processing.

The Helena National Forest was able to collect nearly 17 bushels, totaling over 5000 cones from Duck Creek pass in the Big Belt Mountains.  The area was identified in the top 50th percentile for rust resistance.  This year we were able to upgrade several of our cone cages to the ¼ inch mesh which resulted in a collection with very little cone damage.  Collecting this seed is a great achievement for the forest. The Helena sowed seed this fall to be planted in this area which will be ready in the fall of 2015/16 or spring of 2016.

Monitoring since completion of the project:  N/A


Plans for future monitoring? N/A

Will outcome meet goals?  The amount of seed collected is between 95,000-210,000 seeds.  This is the most successful collection the Helena National Forest has had in the past 5 years.  The amount of restoration that will come of the seed will benefit the forest for many years.

Future actions/follow up:  The Helena NF plans on sowing a portion of the seed to complete the restoration efforts on Duck Creek or Mt. Edith within the Big Belt Mountains. The remaining seed will be available for other projects across the forest.

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