Personal tools

Return to Top
DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
Questions? Email us

Conifers


See the current Inventory & Price List for seedling sources and availability.

Further seed source info and scientific names are available by contacting the nursery.

Average Seedling Height By Age: 1 year old

10-16"

2 years old 12-22"
3 years old 16-26"

Many of our species are produced from MITOSIS seed. MITOSIS is the Montana Interagency Tree and Shrub Improvement Study. The study was a cooperative effort to evaluate the performance of various species of plants in established Montana plantings. The selected plantings were evaluated for over ten years and the best performing plants were selected for seed orchard establishment at the nursery.

We use this seed source whenever possible. These selections perform well in many of Eastern Montana's variable and harsh climates. Although these plants have not been tested in every environment, MITOSIS selections are some of the best plant materials available for use in Montana. The selections are proven to survive in Montana because they were evaluated in Montana not other Northern Great Plains states.


CN_Conifers_DouglasFir.jpg

Douglas Fir for East of Divide
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Growth Rate Slow Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 12' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Poor
Elevation Range 4,000 to 7,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 14"
Wildlife Value Good nesting cover, fair food Pests Bark beetles, spruce budworm, tussock moth
Comments Drought tolerant once established but grows best on good sites. Use for reforestation and windbreaks.

CN_Conifers_DouglasFir.jpg
Douglas Fir for West of Divide
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 15' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Poor
Elevation Range 3,500 to 7,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 14"
Wildlife Value Good nesting cover, fair food Pests Bark beetles, spruce budworm, tussock moth
Comments Drought tolerant once established but grows best on good sites. Use for reforestation and windbreaks.

CN_Conifers_Juniper.jpg
Juniper, Rocky Mountain
Juniperus scopulorum
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness High
20-Year Height 12' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Good
Elevation Range Up to 6,500' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 6-12' Minimum Annual Precip. 10"
Wildlife Value Good nesting, food and cover for birds and mammals Pests Cedar apple rust
Comments Excellent in wildlife plantings. Very drought and alkali tolerant. Transplants well. Genetically selected seed for cold hardiness and faster growth.

CN_Conifers_westernlarch.jpg
Larch, Western
Larix occidentalis
Growth Rate Moderate-fast Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 18' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Poor
Elevation Range 3,000-7,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 15"
Wildlife Value Fair nesting and food, poor cover and browse Pests Larch casebearer, needle diseases, larch sawfly
Comments Prevalent in western Montana on mid elevation slopes. Rapid growth on good sites once established. Commonly used for reforestation.

CN_Conifers_austrianpine.jpg
Pine, Austrian
Pinus nigra
Growth Rate Moderate-Fast Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 17' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Fair
Elevation Range Up to 5,000' Life Span 60+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14" Minimum Annual Precip. 12"
Wildlife Value Good bird nesting cover, poor browse Pests Pine tip moths, Dothistroma needlecast
Comments A good tree for windbreaks, will not drop lower branches. Adapts well to many soil types.

CN_Conifers_limberpine.jpg
Pine, Limber
Pinus flexilis
Growth Rate Slow Cold Hardiness High
20-Year Height 8' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Poor
Elevation Range 4,000-7,000 Life Span Poor
Windbreak Spacing 6-12' Minimum Annual Precip. 10"
Wildlife Value Large seeds are excellent food source. Good nesting cover. Pests White pine blister rust
Comments Very hardy and slow growing. Use where other evergreens can't survive. Elevations will be lower west of the Divide.

CN_Conifers_lodgepolepine.jpg
Pine, Lodgepole
Pinus contorta var. latifolia
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness High
20-Year Height 17' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Fair
Elevation Range 4,000-8500' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 14"
Wildlife Value Good nesting and thermal cover Pests Dwarf mistletoe, pine beetle, western gall rust, commandra rust
Comments Used mostly for reforestation and reclamation of dry, high altitude sites.

CN_Conifers_Ponderosa.jpg
Pine, Ponderosa for East of Divide
Pinus ponderosa
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 15' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Fair
Elevation Range 3,000-6,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 11"
Wildlife Value Birds and small mammals eat seeds. Provides some cover. Pests Western gall rust, commandra rust, pine beetles.
Comments The selected seed source is adapted to eastern Montana. Drought tolerant. Wide usage for windbreaks and reforestation.

CN_Conifers_PPineNeedles.jpg
Pine, Ponderosa for West of Divide
Pinus ponderosa
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 17' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Fair
Elevation Range Up to 6,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14" Minimum Annual Precip. 12"
Wildlife Value Birds and small mammals eat seeds. Provides some cover. Pests Western gall rust, commandra rust, pine beetles.
Comments Great tree for reforestation as well as windbreaks. Choose seed source and elevations that best fit planting site. Drought tolerant.

CN_Conifers_scotchpine.jpg
Pine, Scotch
Pinus sylvestris
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 17' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Fair
Elevation Range Up to 5,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 12"
Wildlife Value Provides nesting and thermal cover Pests Bark beetles, not significant
Comments Adapts well to lower elevation sites. Fast growing conifer. Uses - Christmas trees, windbreaks.

CN_Conifers_WesternWhitepineCones.jpg
Pine, Western White
Pinus monticola
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 18' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Poor
Elevation Range 3,000-6,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-12' Minimum Annual Precip. 14"
Wildlife Value Birds and small mammals eat seeds. Provides some cover. Pests White Pine Blister Rust but we only grow from blister rust resistant seed.
Comments Once common in far Western Montana but many killed by Blister Rust. Our seed source is Blister Rust resistant. A beautiful five needle pine.

CN_Conifers_WesternRedCedar2.jpg
Red cedar, Western
Thuja plicata
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 20' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Poor
Elevation Range 2,000 to 5,000' Life Span 100+ years
Windbreak Spacing N/A Minimum Annual Precip. 24"
Wildlife Value Good cover for wildlife Pests No major pests
Comments Shade tolerant native tree found on low elevation moist sites with cool summers and mild winters. It occupies moist canyons and flats and does not do well on open dry sites.

CN_Conifers_blackspruce.jpg
Spruce, Black Hills
Picea glauca var. densata
Growth Rate Slow Cold Hardiness High
20-Year Height 12' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Fair
Elevation Range Up to 6,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 12"
Wildlife Value Excellent nesting cover Pests Spider mites, spruce needle miner, spruce sawfly
Comments Dense crown is good for windbreaks, slow initial growth, color varies from green to slightly blue.

CN_Conifers_coloradobluespruce.jpg
Spruce, Colorado Blue
Picea pungens
Growth Rate Moderate Cold Hardiness Medium
20-Year Height 15' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Fair
Elevation Range Up to 6,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 12"
Wildlife Value Excellent nesting cover, poor browse Pests Spruce gall aphid, spider mites
Comments Dense crown is good for windbreaks, slow initial growth, color varies from green to slightly blue.

CN_Conifers_englemannspruce.jpg
Spruce, Engelmann
Picea engelmannii
Growth Rate Slow Cold Hardiness High
20-Year Height 14' Alkali/Saline Soil Tolerance Poor
Elevation Range 3,500-9,000' Life Span 80+ years
Windbreak Spacing 8-14' Minimum Annual Precip. 15"
Wildlife Value Excellent nesting and thermal cover, food source for small animals Pests Spruce budworm, spruce gall aphid, tussock moth, bark beetles
Comments A high elevation tree, needs more water at the lower end of the elevation range. Used for reforestation and reclamation of high elevation, wet sites.

Contact

CONSERVATION SEEDLING NURSERY
2705 Spurgin Road
Missoula, MT 59804
406-542-4244
email: mtnursery@mt.gov