Bark beetle rages in the forests of french switzerland – appeal to forest owners

Centennial summer and rough drought have forest owners looking anxiously at their forest stands again, primarily spruce trees. Bark beetle density has been rising steadily since 2015, as forestry director michael kreppel of the AELF bamberg explains. During a site visit in the spruce forest near oberehrenbach he pointed out the problem. Kreppel buried in the round forstamtsrat matthias jessen representing the neunkirchen forest district, matthias kraft from the forest farmers association, forstamtsanwarter christoph bauer and forstreferendar matthias strack. Otto salb first pointed out two places in his forest where the infestation by the bark beetle on apparently coarse, intact spruce trees was clearly visible on closer inspection.

Warning threshold for borkenkafer exceeded

In the so-called "monitor traps, as in oesdorf, the warning threshold of over 1000 kafer per week has already been exceeded several times this year, but infested spruce trees have hardly been found so far. "This has changed, at the moment there are some kaferfichten to be found", says forestry officer jessen. He only controls the communal forests where he is in charge of the management. With about 5000 hectares of forest in the district, it would be impossible for him to inspect all spruce forests every four weeks, as required by law.

Owners are responsible for private forests. "Go out now and check the trees every four, or better every two weeks for signs of infestation", michael kreppel urgently appeals to forest owners and offers the advice of the AELF district managers. "Now you can see the damage and protect the rest of the forest", emphasizes kreppel. Otto salb leads to a tight, well grown spruce tree. It shows typical signs of infestation, that is, red crown color, green needles on the trunk moss, and brown grit deposited on the bark and cobwebs.

On closer inspection, the boreholes in the bark are sometimes visible. Woodpecker damage in the bark can also be a clue. The schadling spreads from the top to the bottom of the stem. On a rough bark stump, matthias kraft shows the bark kafer's borer tract. This is mainly a case of the buck printer and the copper engraver.

Bark oats develop quickly due to dry hibernation weather

The AELF bamberg urgently advises to cut down single or few pine spruces without delay, to debark the trunk and to chop the crown wood before the brood develops and the next generation of kafer attacks the surrounding spruces. "One unprocessed spruce infects 20 others, and the 20 then 400" warns matthias jessen of the dramatic consequences. And this year, due to the prolonged dry-hardy weather, the generations of oats have developed quickly, so that we can expect three generations of oats.
Spruce trees, as flat-rooted plants, are therefore particularly at risk. If you can't cut the oats yourself, you can hire professionals to do it for you. Another possibility is to have the outreach organized by two forest owners associations (WBV) active in the district of forchheim, frankische schweiz or kreuzberg. The WBV can also take over the marketing of the aircraft. "We have a base of companies that we can use and we are happy to support our members. Moreover, the WBV has several pre-contracts through which the kafer wood can be sold", explains matthias kraft as managing director of the WBV france switzerland. It is a fact that the drought favors the pests, and it also considerably slows down the growth of the forest. Both together cause immense economic damage.


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