Quinault Tree Improvement Program
The overarching goal of the Quinault Tree Improvement Program is to provide for the production of superior seed based on the selection of phenotypically and genotypically superior trees on the Quinault Indian Nation. The seed will be used for sowing and out-planting following harvest or rehabilitation activities. The most important goals of this program are:
- Increased growth, tree form and yield
- Increased resistance to insects and disease
- Improved wood quality
- SNC tolerance
- Reforestation of all acres requiring Douglas fir and western hemlock in the 0 to 2,000-foot elevation range utilizing seed from genetically tested seed orchards. Western white pine and Sitka spruce on QIN orchards will continue to be developed and provide seed with resistance to white pine blister rust and tip weevil possibly by 2017
- Protection of the natural resources from insect and disease through Silviculture treatments
- Seed will be broadly adapted to ensure against climate change
Quinault Tree Improvement Plan
A Tree Improvement Plan was prepared in 1978, with western hemlock and Douglas fir being the primary species. The plan was updated in 2001, is on file and provides specific information and establishes program direction for the major categories of the Quinault Tree Improvement Program. The major categories are:
- Select trees (includes species, selection criteria, and maintenance) and progeny test sites (includes objectives, test design criteria, documentation procedures)
Hemlock Tree Improvement Cooperative (HEMTIC) is a second generation western hemlock cooperative that spans existing cooperatives in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
WA Coast Douglas Fir Cooperative is a second generation cooperative that incorporates several other breeding zones to the Douglas fir breeding zone for the Quinault Indian Nation.
In 1989 the Quinault Tree Improvement Program entered into a Sitka spruce program that had originated by Rayonier. Data from four test sites for 86 parent trees and 30 seeds each from the original collections from these parents was obtained. Two seedling orchards were installed with the best material, each about 1 acre in size.
- Evaluation plantations (includes objectives and documentation procedures)
In addition to the progeny test sites, several evaluation/demonstration plantations have been out-planted to track the field gain of hemlock and a genetic gain. 9 years of data has been collected and will continue. This information will be used for Quinault Silviculture prescriptions and growth and yield models of young Douglas fir plantations.
- Seed orchards (includes establishment, maintenance, pollen management, stimulation, seed collection, and monitoring).
The data from the progeny tests have been used to rogue the seed orchard, removing the lower ranked families. Under optimal management, the seed produced from the field orchard will have 10 to 20 percent volume gains over camp run. The greenhouse will eventually produce seed with a 15 to 20 percent volume gain.
- Tip weevil resistant Sitka spruce (includes testing for tip weevil resistance)
In 1992, the Quinault Division of Natural Resources agreed to participate in a spruce weevil resistance test program that the Canadian forest service was researching. Trees were received from Canada and two weevil resistant spruce test sites were planted on Quinault lands, one in 1992 and another in 1993.
- Blister rust resistant western white pine (includes testing for blister rust resistance)
A white pine blister rust resistant program was begun in 1992 with the selection of seven trees. Cones from these and 42 more trees selected in 1993 were sown in the U.S. Forest Service screening program.
Blister rust resistance seed is currently collected from USFS Denny Ahl Seed Orchard and is used for reforestation on the Quinault lands.
Quinault Tree Improvement Seed Needs
The tree improvement program, in conjunction with the regeneration program and harvest program, will assess the need for seed to meet reforestation requirements on an annual basis. Seed needs are typically projected 1 to 2 years out for immediate sowing needs and 2 to 8 years out for a supply to meet future needs. Seed can be collected from the seed orchard, from select trees on Quinault lands, a camp-run collection, from select or camp-run trees off reservation within the designated seed zones, or the seed can be purchased. Seed trees may be needed to be felled for seed collection purposes. Individual trees may be cut or pruned to allow for seed collection.
Once the cones are collected they are transferred to a cone processing/seed extraction company for processing. The seed is then tested for germination, purity, and seeds per pound. On the average, seed is re-tested every 8 years. The Nation contracts the storage of the seed to reliable companies who supply the Quinault Tree Improvement Program with inventory reports, and ships seed to contracted nurseries upon request.
Forestry Manager, Jim Plampin » 360.276.8215 x290
Tree Improvement Forester, Jim Hargrove, Sr » 360.276.8215 x283
Tree Improvement Technician, Mitch Bumgarner » 360.276.8215 x516
Additional Quinault Tree Improvement Resources: