When infested, the bark peels off of the trunk and whole sheets of it can be removed. On the inner surface, fine, pale lines can be identified as burrows and developmental stages of spruce bark-beetles – on this small sheet of bark we counted 38 beetles.
© Wald und Holz NRW, Nadine Neuburg

90% of bark-beetles survive

Article by Fabian Pöschel, translated by Susanne Höfler | 14.03.2019 - 10:42

Dr. Mathias Niesar, forest protection expert from the federal forestry department, sums up the critical situation as follows: "Last year, beetles showed extreme levels of reproduction. Therefore, large amounts entered winter and, as our research shows, unfortunately also survived in good health and will last into spring only to swarm out once again."

The past four weeks provided further proof of this diagnosis. The warm temperatures stimulated the bark-beetles' activity. Niesar expects short of four weeks before the first wave of spreading starts.

Andreas Wiebe, head of Wald und Holz NRW: "Our forest protection experts and foresters have been focusing on the competent preparation of the bark-beetles' mass reproduction which will progress without impediment if weather conditions remain unfavorable. In this regard, large privately-owned forests are just as much at risk as state forests and forests of tens of thousands of small-scale private forest owners. In this situation it is vital that affected parties and potentially affected parties are well-informed and show solidarity."

For this reason, the federal forestry department compiled a best practice guide for forest owners aimed at helping them to both assess and curb the bark-beetle situation.