Spruce Budworm Returns


The last big spruce budworm outbreak took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Those who worked in the forest industry in Maine during that period are no stranger to the words “spruce budworm.” During that outbreak, the budworm defoliated 20% of Maine’s spruce and fir forests, causing the timber industry to salvage log extensively. In Canada, the picture was even more dramatic; some areas of Novia Scotia saw 90% tree mortality. Clearcuts became commonplace. Many areas never regenerated — woodlands turned into grasslands, and plenty remain that way to this day.

Today, a spruce budworm outbreak is back in Canada and we are seeing the very beginnings of another outbreak in northern Maine. How has management changed since the last outbreak and what tools are available to landowners who hope to protect their forests against spruce budworm damage? We spoke to Brian Roth, of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Forestry Research Unit and the Maine Spruce Budworm Taskforce, Dr. Rob Johns of the Canadian Forest Service, Alison Kanoti of the the Maine Forest Service, and Aaron Weiskittel, the Director for the Center for Research on Sustainable Forests. Thanks to this month’s guests.


Learn more in this episode of the Northern Logger.

Thanks again to our episode sponsor John Deere.