Yellowhead County Residents play an important role in managing the mountain pine beetle infestation. Early detection and control are critical in managing Alberta’s MPB infestations and preventing further spread.
The MPB app can be found at www.pinebeetleapp.ca.
Background: Mountain Pine Beetle is an insect with the potential to devastate landscapes. A large MPB outbreak started in British Columbia in the early 1990s. Since that time the insect has killed about 50% of the total volume of commercial lodgepole pine in that province. While isolated records of MPB had been noted in Alberta before, it was the massive migration of beetles into Alberta from outbreaks in British Columbia in 2006 that has since fueled the spread in this province.
Mountain pine beetles in your backyard?
The mountain pine beetle is a small, black beetle about the size of a grain of rice. Over the past few years, mountain pine beetles have been expanding east into Alberta from British Columbia.
What type of trees may be attacked?
Mountain pine beetles attack and kill pine trees, usually mature ones aged 80 to 120 years old. All species of pine including lodgepole, jack pine, Scots pine and ponderosa pine are vulnerable. They do not attack aspen, spruce or fir trees. Pine can be distinguished from other trees by their long needles attached to branches in groups of 2-5.
When do beetles attack trees and how long do they stay in trees?
Beetles fly in search of new trees in July and August. Once a beetle has found a suitable tree, it will live in that tree for the remainder of its life and lay eggs. The new generation of beetles will not emerge from the tree for at least one year.
If my tree is attacked, will it die?
Unfortunately, yes. Trees successfully attacked by mountain pine beetles usually die within one year.
How can I tell if my trees have been attacked?
Look for creamy globs that look like crystallised honey, called pitch tubes, and sawdust at the base of the tree and in the bark’s crevices.
What do I do if my tree is infested?
If you suspect a Mountain Pine Beetle infestation on your property, please contact the Yellowhead Agriculture Department in Wildwood for assistance at 1‐800‐814‐3935.
If you are planting trees due to damage from Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, the following grant may be available:
Mountain Pine Beetle Surveys and Control
Mountain Pine Beetle Surveys are conducted on pine trees within Yellowhead County during the month of April and May. Survey crews will require access to private property to conduct surveys and will be able to provide identification upon request.
Funding for the program was provided by the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry through a Mountain Pine Beetle Control Program Grant.
Mountain Pine Beetle Surveys are conducted on pine trees within Yellowhead County this spring. Survey crews will require access to private property to conduct surveys and will be able to provide identification upon request.
Follow up control activities will be conducted throughout the spring until completed. Control activities will remove 100% of mountain pine beetles found through surveys. Control activities will consist of tree removal or removal of beetles from the trees. Only trees that meet current infestation standards set out by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will be removed.
For further information contact:
Yellowhead County Agricultural Fieldman