RMK has ended the necessary cutting for bark beetle control and will continue with the elimination of storm damage  04.05

From 20 March through 3 May, RMK performed bark beetle control in areas with large-scale bark beetle damage on 947 hectares, in order to prevent the spread of the pests to spruces that are healthy, yet endangered by bark beetles.

Control works proceeded according to monitoring data collected by RMK’s employees. As at the beginning of May, bark beetle damage from last year has been identified on 2794 hectares of RMK managed forests. Control works were performed from 20 March through 3 May on 947 hectares.

‘We performed control works on the forest stands with the biggest damage, where we felled already damaged spruces and also trap trees to attract bark beetles. We left the trees in the forest to await the arrival of bark beetles that were soon awakening from hibernation, to remove them along with the bark beetles from the forest’, explained Tavo Uuetalu, Member of the Management Board of RMK.

As of 4 May, RMK will no longer be performing the required cutting in the current volume for bark beetle control. As the window for removing trap trees freshly inhabited by bark beetles from the forest is short, RMK will no longer be able to cut new trap trees – otherwise they would not be removed from the forest quickly enough.

Namely, traps must be removed from the forest after bark beetles have colonised them after waking up from hibernation, but have not yet managed to colonise other nearby healthy spruces. Therefore it is important to react quickly and precisely, in order to hit the precise moment when the flight of bark beetles is in full swing and trap trees have been filled by the pests, but before new and even greater damage has been caused. A bark beetle that has hibernated in the soil will begin to fly and colonise trees when the surface has warmed to 10 degrees and the air temperature exceeds 16 degrees. RMK’s bark beetle observation stations will signal us when the right time has arrived.

‘In addition we are mapping 1625 ha of fresh storm damage that must be eliminated. If we fail to remove storm damaged trees from the forest, they become a tempting buffet for bark beetles, who are attracted in particular by weakened and damaged spruces’, explained Uuetalu.      

All forest management works are performed in accordance with legislation and the control work plan has been coordinated with bark beetle expert Heino Õunap.

More detailed information on the damage caused by the bark beetle and the bank beetle control works can be found on RMK’s bark beetle control page.

Further information:
Tavo Uuetalu
Member of the Management Board of RMK
E-mail: tavo.uuetalu@rmk.ee
Telephone: +372-504-5069

Heino Õunap
Estonian Environment Agency, Forest Department Specialist, Entomologist
E-mail: heino.ounap@envir.ee
Telephone: +372-525-1931

Sille Ader
Head of the RMK Communications Department
E-mail: sille.ader@rmk.ee
Telephone: +372-5666-5896