Spruce budworm is once again on the rise in eastern Canada.

Spruce and fir forests in Quebec have already been subjected to nearly 3.2 million hectares of moderate to severe defoliation by spruce budworm as of 2006. So far, densities remain low in the province of New Brunswick; however, a small outbreak has developed only 50 km or so north of the New Brunswick border and is expected to continue spreading.

With spruce budworm rising, the million-dollar questions are:

How can we best manage spruce budworm outbreaks? What are the best strategies and tactics to control spruce budworm that minimize potential environmental impact?

Our intention through this blog series is to detail some of our ongoing research in New Brunswick as we examine potential strategies to manage the anticipated spruce budworm epidemic. This blog will document the research being carried out by a large collaborative network of government and university scientists, as well as some citizen scientists. We also have an excellent team of biologists, technicians, postdocs, and summer students to help us address these questions.

As important research milestones occur, we will endeavour to update this blog with study details, results, and pictures, and where possible will draw attention to some of the underlying science guiding investigations.