No taste for spruce

The latest reports of the mountain pine beetle infesting spruce stands warrants little concern, according to a report on annual pine beetle activity released by the Ministry of Forests and Range.

Research at the University of Northern British Columbia indicates the behaviour of pine beetles infecting spruce can be expected when the beetle population is very large, and more desirable food sources like mature pine become scarce. However, current data suggests that pine beetles are not able to reproduce well in spruce trees, and therefore are unlikely to impose the wholesale attack on spruce as they have in the pine forests.

In the Bulkley Valley pine makes up only 18 per cent of the timber species. As the beetle infestation took hold in B.C., local foresters were left among the few in the province that can conceivably survive the epidemic. The alarms went off, however, when the beetle migrated to spruce.