Bark drill damage

What am I going to do with the bark drill?

Reports have been pouring in this year about the increasing infestation of the spruce bark beetle. The reasons for the increased infestations can certainly be many and complex, but the effect is nevertheless that very high values are at stake. So what is a private forest owner to do? We look at the options available and the things to consider.

Keep track of your forest

The first action is to inventory your forest and the areas affected by the bark drill attacks. This is not a one-off job, but in practice has to be done several times during the year. Concentrate on known risk areas such as huts and storm-felled forest. For now, forget old fallen or previously infested trees, where the bark drill has already been. These trees are now home to other useful insects that fight the bark beetle. When you have an overview of the situation, it is important to act quickly.

What do I do now?

The next step is to think about how much you want to work with the control yourself. Many people see it as a possible exercise activity and are happy to spend many weekends and days in the forest while others have neither the opportunity nor the desire to spend their own time for this. Of course, doing nothing is the worst option as the risk is obvious that attacks will increase and spread.

There is a lot of useful information on bark beetle control on the web, e.g. Skogsvårdsstyrelsen, which describes both preventive and remedial methods, and this site is highly recommended.
Other resources are available from Billerud Korsnäs, Södra, Tidningen Skogen etc.

(The above links describe the use of so-called bark beetle traps. Recently, however, reports have come in that the effect of using these is not so great - see SVT )

If you have decided to bring in outside help, it may be a good idea to consult with the landowners around you and perhaps jointly contact a forestry company, show them your damage inventory and get an approximate price.
Of course, we who work with small-scale machinery think it's important to use forestry companies that use the gentlest machinery possible, but there are times when using anything other than a larger harvester won't work.

If you want to work with the measures yourself, there are a few options for combating the bark drill with different advantages and disadvantages:

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