The most recent forest health conditions report is now available! Compiling this report is a team effort by Biodiversity and Monitoring Section’s forest health monitoring crew, who work with other MNRF staff and external partners to keep tabs on what’s bugging Ontario’s forests. Highlights from 2016:
- Area damaged by forest tent caterpillar increased by over 400,000 hectares, reaching 1 million hectares of defoliation. Damage was mostly in the Northwest Region, but new outbreaks cropped up in Bancroft, Peterborough, Pembroke, Kemptville, and Algonquin Park districts.
- Area of spruce budworm damage was over 100,000 hectares, with this pest resurging in Sudbury and North Bay and a new outbreak between Chapleau and Hearst districts.
- Non-pest disturbances affected over 40,000 hectares: Blowdown affected over 11,000 hectares, damaging about five times more area than in 2015.
- Emerald ash borer spread further east and north in Midhurst District, and the Ottawa infestation spread northwest into Pembroke District and south into Kemptville District. An outbreak was also confirmed in Thunder Bay.
- Beech bark disease has spread to more sites in Sault Ste. Marie, Aurora, and Midhurst districts.