2015-06-23

Young pine trees face new peril from mountain pine beetle

New research from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences shows that pine beetle attacks not only lead to the death of adult trees, but can also leave the next generation of pine vulnerable to future insect attack.

"The next pine forest is at risk," said Justine Karst, an assistant professor in restoration ecology in the Department of Renewable Resources. She's the co-lead author of a new study with Nadir Erbilgin, Canada Research Chair and associate professor in forest entomology and chemical ecology.

Karst said the beetles, which have damaged or killed more than 47 million hectares of mainly lodgepole pine forests in western North America in the past decade, start an unexpected chain of events that increase the vulnerability of future forests to damage.

2015-06-22

Beetle Plague Spurs Canadians on U.S. Lumber-Mill Buying Spree

In the 60 years since Bob Jordan III joined his family’s North Carolina sawmill business, he hasn’t seen anything quite like the Canadian invasion of the South’s lumber industry.

“You didn’t have people coming in from the outside -- we never had this before,” Jordan, 82, president of closely held Jordan Lumber & Supply Inc., said about an estimated C$2 billion ($1.62 billion) wave of Canadian investment. “Over 50 percent of the lumber in a certain part of the South is being produced by the Canadian mills.”

Western Canadian lumber producers have good reason to be looking to the southeast corner of the continent. Chased from their home forests by rising costs and a plague of tree-killing beetles, West Fraser Timber Co., Canfor Corp. and Interfor Corp. have been on a buying spree, doubling the number of mills they own in the South since 2009 to about 34. The Canadians are drawn by the region’s 210 million acres of fast-growing forests and expanding housing markets from Texas to Virginia to Florida, according to Brooks Mendell, president of Forisk Consulting, an Athens, Georgia-based timberland researcher.

2015-06-03

Next generation of pine beetles threatening North America

The most destructive pest to North America's mature pine forests, the mountain pine beetle, is threatening the next generation.

A study conducted by a University of Alberta researcher shows that the pine beetle not only kills adult trees, but can also leave the next generation of pine vulnerable.

"The next pine forest is at risk," said Justine Karst, an assistant professor in restoration ecology at the U of A, and co-lead author of the study with Nadir Erbilgin, Canada research chair and associate professor in forest entomology and chemical ecology.