2015 Flathead NF Whitebark Pine Planting

General Project Information

Project Title: 2015 Flathead NF Whitebark Pine Planting

Project Dates: 2015

Year project implementation started:

How many more years is this project expected to continue, if any?

Project Contact: (Please provide complete information for primary contact(s), e.g., name, position, phone number, email, agency name, unit/sub-unit)

Melissa Jenkins, mmjenkins@fs.fed.us, 406-758-5333

Location (Land management agency or ownership and name of geographic area(s) where project was implemented. This information should be specific enough to identify a general project location on a map but not specific enough to compromise the project.)

Flathead NF, Skyland Fire Area

Cooperators: (List cooperating agencies and sub-units, other companies/organizations, and individuals as needed.)


Project Funding

Funding Sources (amount FHP/amount other incl. in-kind)

Forest Health Protection funding              $  4,000

Other funding                                               $46,815

Total                                                               $50,815

Did Whitebark Restoration funding get used or obligated? (If not, please explain.)  Yes


Project Details

Scope and/or Size of Project or Treated Area: (Include a short description of the project or treatment area if helpful in understanding the scope of the project.)

Number of Acres or Other Units Treated, Monitored, or Surveyed: 53 acres

Specific location of project or treated area(s): (If desired, add more specific project location information here, e.g., UTMs, Lat-long, specific landmark. Otherwise, indicate if more information is available by request.)

Objective(s) (from original request):

The Flathead NF (FNF) has not requested funding for planting from the restoration project group since 2010. Since 2011, the FNF has been successful in finding other sources of funding for the 285 acres of whitebark planting we have accomplished. Recently the Coeur d’Alene nursery asked us to take 1,300 whitebark seedlings that are excess to requests. They do not want to destroy the seedlings. The seed sources are from the Flathead NF and Waterton Park (Cyndi Smith’s collections); both seed sources fit the Skyland Fire planting site on our boundary with Glacier NP where we plan to plant 65 acres of whitebark in 2015. We are already hard pressed to fund the 125 acres (25,000 seedlings) we are scheduled to plant on the Flathead NF in 2015. We would like to take these 1,300 excess seedlings and prevent them from being destroyed if we can find the additional funding.

Planting: (Please answer the following questions if the project includes plantings or cone collections.)

Number of seedlings planted (List by location if applicable):

1,300 with SPFH funds; total = 15,300 trees

Was the seed source screened for resistance? (If other, explain.)

No. Seeds were collected from trees with phenotypic resistance; some of the trees are currently in the rust screening process.

Were Plus trees used?

Other trees could be plus trees, but do not meet the plus tree spatial distribution requirements (no more than 3 plus trees per stand; plus trees must be at least 300 ft. apart).


First year survival was high (93%) despite the record dry summer. This is at least partially due to our emphasis on providing optimum micro-siting for the seedlings through careful planting spot selection.

Project Status (Is the project complete? If not, what remains to be accomplished and when?

Project is complete. The high fire severity that occurred in this area in 2007 created optimum conditions for whitebark pine seedling establishment with little competing vegetation. Planting occurred in the last week of May, as soon as the snow melted, for optimum soil moisture. The 16-person contracted planting crew planted approximately 25 acres per day.

Will outcome meet objectives? Yes


Project Follow-Up

Are there plans for monitoring or follow-up? (If not, please explain.)

Yes, we will monitor again in the 3rd and 5th years after planting.

Changes Needed or Problems Encountered:

The ground was really good, so we planted a little closer than we typically do. Fewer acres were planted (53 vs the planned 73 ac.) because of the tighter spacing and because slightly fewer trees than predicted were received from the nursery. We plan to still meet the goal stated in the WBP planting guidelines to have about 100 tpa of cone-bearing whitebark.