To find blister rust resistant trees, we visit diseased stands and look for healthy trees amidst the dead and dying trees - these "candidate" trees are likely to be naturally resistant to the blister rust fungus.

To collect the cones from a potentially resistant tree, a Big Shot slingshot is used to fell 3-5 cones. It takes good aim - and persistence - to get the cones on the ground.  We then gather the fallen cones, count, bag and tag them.  The tree's location is recorded with a GPS and we submit the cones to the US Forest Service Blister Rust Program for Resistance Testing

Once a tree has undergone testing and been proven resistant (a process that takes two years!), it is tagged and revisited on an annual basis to collect its cones for restoration purposes.