Beetle Epidemic.. Again
Prince George BC- Prince George is once more facing a beetle epidemic. This time it’s the Douglas Fir Beetle.
Carrier Lumber’s Bill Kordyban and Industrial Forestry Service President Robert Schuetz are calling on the City of Prince George to work in partnership with them to spare the community from the ravages of the Douglas Fir Beetle.
in a presentation to Prince George City Council, Schuetz says there are Douglas fir trees on Connaught Hill which have not yet been attacked, but the evidence of the beetle’s work can be seen in a clump of Douglas Fir on the west side of the cutbanks.
As was the case with the Mountain Pine Beetle, the trees turn red before they drop their needles. “We have beautiful greenery all around the City” says Kordyban, who says this isn’t about lumber, rather it’s about esthetics and it would be a shame if Prince George lost the majesty of these trees.
The beetle has reached epidemic proportions with the map at right showing how it has spread through the region.
The Ministry of Forests can deal with the trees on Crown Land, but there needs to be a plan to deal with the trees within the City Limits says Schuetz “The vision is to sit down with the Ministry of Forests and recognize that there is a problem, then see if there are ways the City can be pro active in informing the public. So if residents see trees on their property , when should they take action, how should they take action about cutting these trees down for lumber, cutting them at the right time, leaving them (the cut trees) if appropriate ( to act as a trap tree for the beetles) and burning it the following year.”
An aerial survey shows the Douglas Fir Beetle infestation has exploded to epidemic proportions between 2015 and 2016. In 2015, the beetle had infected 1,305 hectares, just a year later that had ballooned to 8,127 hectares.
The infestations usually last in a 2 to four year cycle, killing small groups of trees.
“You look all around us, some of the nicest trees are the Douglas Fir” says Schuetz “They are huge , iconic, when you look at a stand, you see those ones that are towering 20 meters above it. that’s the intent, to try and save those ones.”
Council has recommended staff work with the Ministry of Forests to see what can be done to spread the word “What we are here for is not to say the sky is falling” says Schuetz “but let’s be proactive about this issue before it becomes a problem.”