Untitled Page
About Us
Propagation Protocol Database
Subscribe to Native Plant Journal
Print View

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: Pseudotsuga menziesii (Beissn.) Franco glauca
Common Name: Douglas-fir
Species Code: PSEMEN
Ecotype: Spruce/ Fir forest, West Glacier, Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT.,1100m elevation.
General Distribution: P. menziesii var. glauca occurs primarily in the Rocky Mountains from southeastern B.C. and Alberta south to northern and central Mexico, but also in eastern Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona.
Propagation Goal: Plants
Propagation Method: Seed
Product Type: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 9 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling
Height: 15 cm
Caliper: 5 mm
Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Cones are collected in September when cones turn tan and scales begin to reflex in early fall. Mature seeds are firm and brown in color. Cones from younger trees are reported to produce larger cones with greater seed viability than trees over 100 to 200 years in age. Cones are collected using pruning poles to cut branches from trees. Cones are collected in burlap sacks and spread on a canvas tarp in a well vetiliated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Cones are air dried and tumbled to extract the seeds and dewinged.
Seed Storage is up to 20 years at 0C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy for seed sources in the Pacific Northwest.
Seeds are reported to be non-dormant from the central and southern portions of its range.
Seeds/Kg: 200,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 70 to 82%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Prechilling the seeds and pre soaking increases germination energy. Seeds are placed into a 1:3 (v:v) 3%hydrogen peroxide/ water soak for 10 minutes. Seeds are then placed into a 48 hour running water rinse, followed by a 30 to 45 day cold, moist stratification at 3C.
Seeds are placed into fine mesh bags and buried in milled moist sphagnum peat moss in a well ventilated container.
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.
After moving them to the outdoor nursery, seedlings are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept evenly moist (but not saturated)during germination. Germination continues for 21 days after sowing. Seedlings are thinned at the birdcage stage. Seedlings shed the seedcoats 7 to 10 days after emergence.
After seedlings are well established, they must dry down slightly between irrigations. This practice prevents the incidence of post-emergence damping-off disease and other root diseases.
Length of Establishment Phase: 3 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Seedlings were fertilized with 25-10-10 liquid NPK at 200 ppm during the growing season. Seedlings should be inoculated with mycorrhizae (Rhizopogon vinicolor) at the accelerated growth stage, which is usually reached by week 8.
Plants were fully root tight 25 weeks after germination and averaged 10 cm in height.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 22 weeks
Hardening Phase: Seedlings are fertilized with 10-20-20 liquid NPK at 200 ppm in August and September. Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are leached with clear water once before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 8 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 9 months
Harvest Date: October
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: 3 L (1 gallon) containers of P. menziesii can be produced in 2 years; with trees averaging 17 cm in height and 9 mm in caliper.
Vegetative Propagation Method: Yes, not tried. Cuttings taken from 10 to 12 year old sheared stock trees in December and January, using 5000 ppm IBA, sand, peat media with bottom heat, 50F air temperature maintained, and 16 hr days. Rootability varies widely between clones.
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.

The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation, Dirr and Heuser, Varsity Press, 1987.

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

Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.  

Hosokawa, Joy; Luna, Tara.; Evans, Jeff.; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of container Pseudotsuga menziesii (Beissn.) Franco glauca plants (172 ml conetainers); USDI NPS - Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 31 August 2015). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.