Christopher R. Keyes

Photo of Keyes, Christopher R.

Christopher R. Keyes

Research Professor of Silviculture

Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Personal Summary

Christopher Keyes is Research Professor of Silviculture in the Department of Forest Management, and is Director of the Applied Forest Management Program (AFMP), a research and outreach unit of the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. The focus of his work is to develop and demonstrate silvicultural tools and techniques for the stewardship, restoration, and renewal of western forests. Chris operates the AFMP Experimental Seedling Nursery, a reforestation nursery that performs research and vocational training in the propagation of native conifer and broadleaf plants. He currently serves as associate editor for Forest Science, Deputy Coordinator of the IUFRO Temperate Forest Regeneration Working Party, liaison to the Inland Empire Tree Improvement Cooperative, and faculty advisor to the University of Montana’s Society of American Foresters Student Chapter. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Silviculture at Humboldt State University (2001-2007).


Ph.D. 2000, Silviculture and Forest Regeneration, Oregon State University
M.S. 1996, Silviculture and Forest Stand Dynamics, University of Montana
B.A. 1990, International Development, Holy Cross College

Courses Taught

Multiple-Resource Silviculture (FORS 347)

Research Interests

Chris and his colleagues test and evaluate innovative silvicultural practices in support of the AFMP mission: To develop and promote silvicultural tools and techniques for the restoration and renewal of western forests. Research and outreach efforts directly address challenges identified by forest stewards and researchers, with emphasis on forest regeneration dynamics, reforestation methods, and silvicultural restoration techniques. Past and present clients include the US Forest Service, National Park Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Agency for International Development, MPG Ranch, and Sempervirens Fund.

Visit the Applied Forest Management Program Website


Chris has been a member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) since 1992 and has holds the SAF Certified Forester (CF) credential. He has been a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration since 1999.

Selected Publications

Jang, W., C.R. Keyes, and J-H Lim. 2013. Application of mathematical models in the spatial analysis of early tree seedling distribution patterns within a treefall gap at Gwangneung Experimental Forest, Korea. Journal of Plant Biology 56:283-289.*

Jang, W., C.R. Keyes, and T.E. Perry. 2013. Long-term harvesting effects on forest productivity under three silvicultural systems in the northern Rocky Mountains. Proceedings of the Council on Forest Engineering Annual Meeting, Missoula, MT, 7-10 July 2013.

Affleck. D.L.R., C.R. Keyes, and J.M. Goodburn. 2012. Conifer crown fuel modeling: Current limits and potential for improvement. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 27:165-169.

Jain, T.B., M.A. Battaglia, H-S. Han, R.T. Graham, C.R. Keyes, J.S. Fried, and J. Sandquist. 2012. A Comprehensive Guide to Fuels Management Practices for Dry Mixed Conifer Forests of the Northwestern United States. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-292. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 315 p.

Keyes, C.R. 2012. A new resource for Montana Tree Farmers: Seedlings and reforestation assistance at the University of Montana’s Experimental Seedling Nursery. Montana Family Forest News 40:10-11. Montana Tree Farm System, Missoula, MT.

Larson, A.J., K.C. Stover, and C.R. Keyes. 2012. Effects of restoration thinning on spatial heterogeneity in old-growth mixed-conifer forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 42:1505-1517.

Manso, R., M. Pardos, C.R. Keyes, and R. Calama. 2012. Modelling the spatio-temporal pattern of primary dispersal in stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) stands in the northern plateau (Spain). Ecological Modelling 226:11-21.

O’Hara, K.L., L.P. Leonard, and C.R. Keyes. 2012. Variable-density thinning and a marking paradox: Comparing prescription protocols to attain stand variability in coast redwood. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 27:143-149.

Plummer, J.F., C.R. Keyes, and J.M. Varner. 2012. Early-stage thinning for the restoration of young redwood – Douglas-fir forests in northern coastal California, USA. ISRN Ecology Volume 2012, Article ID 725827. 9 p.

Garlough, E.C. and C.R. Keyes. 2011. Influences of moisture content, mineral content, and bulk density on smouldering combustion of ponderosa pine duff mounds. International Journal of Wildland Fire 20:589-596.

Keyes, C.R. 2011. Thinning promotes the restoration of branch structure in second-growth redwoods at Redwood National Park. Ecological Restoration 29:325-327.

Teraoka, J.R. and C.R. Keyes. 2011. Low thinning as a forest restoration tool at Redwood National Park. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 26:91-93.

Garlough, E.C. and C.R. Keyes. 2010. Pitching theories from the duff mound. Fire Management Today 70(3):5-7.

Keyes, C.R. and T.E. Perry. 2010. Built for the future: New directions in silviculture research and demonstration at Montana’s Lubrecht Experimental Forest. Pp. 267-270 in Proceedings of the 2009 National Silviculture Workshop. USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-61.

Keyes, C.R., T.E. Perry, and J.F. Plummer. 2010. Variable-density thinning for parks and reserves: An experimental case study at Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Pp. 227-237 in Proceedings of the 2009 National Silviculture Workshop. USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-61.

Leonzo, C.M. and C.R. Keyes. 2010. Fire-excluded forests in the southeastern Klamath Mountains, California. Fire Ecology 6(3):62-76.

Wynsma, B. and C.R. Keyes. 2010. Biomass utilization to achieve diverse silvicultural goals. Pp. 135-143 in Proceedings of the 2009 National Silviculture Workshop. USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-61.

Keyes, C.R., D.A. Maguire, and J.C. Tappeiner. 2009. Recruitment of ponderosa pine seedlings in the Cascade Range. Forest Ecology and Management 257:495-501.

Varner, J.M. and C.R. Keyes. 2009. Fuels treatments and fire models: Errors and corrections. Fire Management Today 69(3):47-50.

Keyes, C.R. and D.A. Maguire. 2008. Some shrub shading effects on the mid-summer microenvironment of ponderosa pine seedlings in central Oregon. Northwest Science 82:245-250.

Keyes, C.R., P.J. Matzka, K.C. Wright, R. Glebocki, and H-S Han. 2008. Early precommercial thinning of coast redwood sprout clumps: Evaluation of four techniques. International Journal of Forest Engineering 19(2):28-36.

Chittick, A.J. and C.R. Keyes. 2007. Holter Ridge Thinning Study, Redwood National Park: Preliminary results of a 25-year retrospective. Pp. 270-280 in Proceedings of the Redwood Region Forest Science Symposium. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-194.

Keyes, C.R. and D.A. Maguire. 2007. Seed rain of ponderosa pine beneath partial overstories. New Forests 34:107-114.

Keyes, C.R., D.A. Maguire, and J.C. Tappeiner. 2007. Observed dynamics of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) seedling recruitment in the Cascade Range, USA. New Forests 34:95-105.

Keyes, C.R. 2006. Foliar moisture contents of North American conifers. Pp. 395-399 in Fuels Management – How to Measure Success: Proceedings of the 1st Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference. USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-41.

Keyes, C.R. 2006. Role of foliar moisture content in the silvicultural management of forest fuels. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 21(4):228-231.

Keyes, C.R. and J.M. Varner. 2006. Pitfalls in the silvicultural treatment of canopy fuels. Fire Management Today 66(3):46-50.

Keyes, C.R. and D.A. Maguire. 2005. Positive seedling-shrub relationships in natural regeneration of ponderosa pine. Pp. 95-107 in Proceedings of the Symposium on Ponderosa Pine: Issues, Trends, and Management. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-198.

Keyes, C.R. and P.J. Matzka. 2005. Intensive management of stump sprout reproduction in coppice-regenerated coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens). Pp. 51-55 in The Thin Green Line: A Symposium on the State-of-the-Art in Reforestation (Proceedings). Ontario Forest Research Institute Forest Research Information Paper No. 160. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

Keyes, C.R., D.A. Jaramillo, B.M. Woolley, and M.S. Lancaster. 2005. Creation times and costs for five tree-based wildlife cavity structures (California). Ecological Restoration 23(3):207-208.

Keyes, C.R. and K.L. O’Hara. 2002. Quantifying stand targets for silvicultural prevention of crown fires. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 17(2):101-109.

DeBell, D.S., C.R. Keyes, and B.L. Gartner. 2001. Wood density of Eucalyptus saligna grown in Hawaiian plantations: Effects of silvicultural practices and relation to growth rate. Australian Forestry 64(2):106-110.

Keyes, C.R., S.A. Acker, and S.E. Greene. 2001. Overstory and shrub influences on seedling recruitment patterns in an old-growth ponderosa pine stand. Northwest Science 75(3):204-210.

Keyes, C.R. 2000. Natural regeneration of ponderosa pine: Pest management strategies for seed predators. Forestry Chronicle 76(4):623-626.

Keyes, C.R. and M.G. Keyes. 2000. Silvopastoral agroforestry: A key to longleaf pine restoration. Ecological Restoration 18(2):93-99.