To help woodlot owners make management decisions, the Healthy Forest Partnership (HFP) has developed a smartphone application to estimate how much volume could be lost due to spruce budworm (SBW) on a woodlot, on a stand by stand basis at varying levels of defoliation. The application works on most smartphones and mobile devices.
There are currently large areas of SBW defoliation in southern Quebec that have led to dead and dying trees. To date, there has been only a small amount of defoliation in northern New Brunswick. Monitoring by the HFP indicates that populations are increasing but they have not reached a level where significant defoliation is likely to occur in 2016.
It takes several years of SBW defoIiation (three or more) to kill trees. Two or more years of defoliation will reduce growth but will not kill individual trees or stands. If a stand is mixed and has other tree species in it (hardwoods or softwoods other than spruce or fir), growth reduction and mortality will be less.
For information on SBW populations and defoliation levels, check the Healthy Forest Partnership at www.healthyforestpartnership.ca. The site has the most up to date information on population levels and current treatment activity.
Using the application:
Go to “Scenario” and enter the stand volume and tree species percentage. Enter the current level of infestation (in New Brunswick there is little defoliation so it should be at worst “light”). The decline in volume can be seen under “impacts” where the percent volume loss and impacts to merchantable volume can be viewed.
Dave MacLean and Chris Hennigar