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Protocol Information

Native Plant Nursery
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835


Family Scientific Name: Pinaceae
Family Common Name: Pine family
Scientific Name: Pinus ponderosa Dougl.
Common Name: Ponderosa pine
Species Code: PINPON
Ecotype: Ponderosa forest, North Fork of Flathead River drainage, Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT.,1000m elevation.
General Distribution: P. ponderosa occurs in lower levels in the mountains and valleys, where rather dry, often in pure stands; from southern B.C. to Baja California, mostly east of the Cascades, occasionally west of the Cascades in southwestern Washington but more abundantly in Oregon and California, east to southeast B.C., Montana, the Dakotas and south through the Rocky Mountains to west Texas and northern Mexico. It is found from 100 to 2700 m elevation.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 7 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling
Height: 16 cm
Caliper: n/a
Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Cones are collected in October and November when cones turn reddish brown. Mature seeds are firm and brown in color.
Ponderosa pine cones must be dried immediately to prevent mold development. Cones are spread on a canvas tarp in a well ventilated greenhouse during the drying process.
Propagule Processing: A tumbler and dewinger are used to clean large seed quantities.
Seed longevity is up to 20 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 28,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 90 to 100%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are placed in a 8:1 (v:v)water/bleach soak for 8 minutes to surface sterilize seeds. Seeds are then placed in a 48 hour running water soak prior to cold, moist stratification for 45 days.
Seeds are stratified in fine mesh bags and buried in moist peat moss in ventilated containers under refrigeration at 3C.
P. ponderosa seeds collected east of the Continental Divide are reported to germinate equally well without stratification.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:

Greenhouse and Outdoor Nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are covered with medium.
Growing medium used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculite with Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.
Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered and remain in greenhouse until mid May. Seedlings are then moved to outdoor nursery for the remainder of the growing season.
Seedlings are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Initial germination is uniform and complete in 15 days. Germinants shed the seed coats 7 to 10 days after emergence. Seedlings are thinned at the birdcage stage.
Length of Establishment Phase: 3 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Plants were fertilized with 25-10-10 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during the growing season.
Plants were fully root tight 23 weeks after germination and averaged 16 cm in height.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 20 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. This practice induces the formation of the terminal bud.
Plants are leached with clear water once before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 6.5 months
Harvest Date: September and October
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: There are 3 botanical varieties: var. arizonica, var. ponderosa, and var. scopulorum.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.

Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.

Seeds of Woody Plants in North America, Young and Young, Dioscorides Press, 1992.

Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.  

Citation:
Evans, Jeff; Luna, Tara.; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of container Pinus ponderosa Dougl. plants (172 ml conetainers); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 19 December 2014). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.