Forestry and Agrifoods
No aerial control program to protect forest areas from major forest pests will be conducted in the Province in 2014. This is only the third time in the last 37 years that aerial control operations have not be conducted. With the exception of two localized areas (Middle Cove, Tors Pond) on the Avalon where hemlock looper (HL) populations will be active in 2014 in non-commercial forest areas, HL populations are forecast to be at low across the island. In Labrador, HL populations remain at low levels following the collapse of the last outbreak in 2009.
Spruce budworm (SBW) populations have been on the rise in Eastern Canada. On the island increases have been observed in the number of SBW moths found on the northern peninsula and west coast, however, forecasted populations still remain below levels requiring protection. In Labrador, SBW populations will be active again in the Goose Bay area. Most of the areas affected, however, remain outside of the District 19a management zone.
Localized balsam fir sawfly (BFS) populations will be active again in the St. Albans area. This is the third year for BFS populations in this area. Fortunately outbreaks of BFS tend to be short-lived due to a naturally occurring virus which causes populations to collapse in 3-4 years. Although feeding damage causes growth reductions it rarely results in tree mortality. No control is needed; however, BFS populations in the area will continue to be monitored.
The only control work to be conducted in 2014 will be the destruction of red pine infected with a serious invasive disease of hard pines called Scleroderris Canker. There are currently seven locations on the island where this disease is present. Infected living pine at these sites will be destroyed to prevent the spread of this serious disease to other red pine plantations and indigenous red pine areas.
More detailed information on annual control and monitoring activities and results for major forest pests in the Province can be found on the Forest Insect and Disease Monitoring and Control Results page.