Western White Pine Ecology

White pine monitoring activities in 2011 provided data on the performance of rust resistant seedlings and mature natural regeneration at MPG North. Both seedlings and mature tree groups continue to grow every year, but average growth lags behind expectations of this species in optimal habitat (northern Idaho and coast ranges). Management activities contributed positive and negative pressures on growth, with the overall outcome of increased survival in the naturally regenerated population. 

On January 24th and 25th, Lorinda and I visited the University of Idaho to talk about endophyte research and take a look at the MPG North genotype white pine seedlings they’ve grown for us at the seedling nursery. In late 2009, we delivered 201 seeds from nine white pines to the nursery. 108 seedlings from eight MPG parent trees survived. Survivorship varied among seed lots (0 to 80%) for a 54% overall germination rate. 

To study the relationship between fertilizer and deer browsing of white pines, we planted 140 blister rust resistant seedlings in 7 plots on MPG North in early June, 2009 (map, inset). A September 9, 2009 survey reported that >90% of the seedlings survived their first summer, but only 13 seedlings (about 10%) survived until our last survey in early June, 2010. This high mortality was unexpected. We think that the unusual cold snap last October killed these seedlings. 

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