Mail:   Phone: 1-360-276-8211 x7001

Tree Improvement

Quinault Tree Improvement Program

Quinault Tree Improvement Program | Quinault Forestry Department
Douglas Fir cones ready for harvest.

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:

  • Progeny Tests
    • These are test plantations that are designed to reveal the genetic value of the families tested
      • We currently are progeny testing DF and WH
  • Seed Orchards
    • This is the site where the high genetic value families are cultivated for cones that yield the seed for our Quinault Regeneration Program
      • We currently have seed orchards producing DF, WH and WWP seeds and expect spruce production to begin soon


The QIN has taken advantage of multiple testing and orchard cooperatives to accomplish its goals for production of high genetic value seeds in the most efficient way. These cooperatives share the costs and results amongst many private, state and federal partners reducing the cost of developing the seed for the Nation. Some of these cooperatives include:

  1. Hemlock Tree Improvement Cooperative (HEMTIC) is a second generation western hemlock cooperative that spans existing cooperatives in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
  2. WA Coast Douglas Fir Cooperative is a second generation cooperative that incorporates several other coastal programs into the Douglas fir breeding zone for the Quinault Indian Nation.
Quinault Tree Improvement Program | Quinault Forestry Department
Tip Weevil damage to tree

The Quinault Tree Improvement Program also entered into a Sitka spruce program that had been originated by Rayonier. This program provided genetic information and seed that enabled the QIN to install a Spruce seed orchard near Queets. Subsequently the Nation also cooperated with the BC Ministry of Forests installing tip weevil resistant test sites on the QIN. As a result the Nation obtained weevil resistant material that was also installed in the spruce seed orchard.

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 in addition to our orchards and is used for reforestation on the Quinault lands.

Quinault Tree Improvement Seed Management

Quinault Tree Improvement Program | Quinault Forestry Department
A climber ascends to where the seeds are

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 x7290

Tree Improvement Forester, Jim Hargrove, Sr  »  360.276.8215 x7283

Tree Improvement Technician, Mitch Bumgarner  »  360.276.8215 x7516

Additional Quinault Tree Improvement Resources:

Quinault Forest Management Plan

Quinault Forestry Department

Quinault Silviculture Program

Northwest Tree Improvement Cooperative

UW Stand Management Cooperative

Tree Improvement Program

U.S. Forest Service