“Mischiefs” of European spruce bark beetle at LVM Nature Park in Tērvete

 Resin on stem of already damaged spruce. 

The LVM Nature Park in Tērvete is famous not only with its great pines, but also with impressive, slender spruces. In spring of 2019 we already wrote about the mischiefs of European spruce bark beetle in the LVM Nature Park in Tērvete. Then the damages in spruce stand were found close to trails popular for visitor in Fairytale Forest, several dozen spruces slowly withered. Trees were cut down to restrict the distribution of pest.

What is bark beetle and how can it be detected? European spruce bark beetle – a beetle, typical stem pest. It infests spruce sands, eats off bark until trees die. The first signs are exit holes of bark beetle, brown dust can be seen on bark, which points to a new tunnel created. Then resin can be spotted on stem, and light brown bark dust can be seen on tree roots and in the cracks of bark. Lastly, under the mighty spruces a blanket of fallen needles is forming, in some places also the bark of trees is falling off.

 

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European spruce bark beetle is a typical stem pest, which can be found on the whole stem of a tree, the largest density is reached in shaded areas. The beetle is dark brown to black, shiny. 1-2 generation can be produced per year.

In autumn, after the warm and also long summer, it can be seen that the “war march” of bark beetle in LVM Nature Park in Tērvete is not over yet. Several other trees have been found that clearly had surrendered to the attack of pest. Bark beetle usually infests weakened, overgrown spruces that have reached the harvest age or have overgrown it, there are plenty of those in the Fairytale Forest of LVM Nature Park in Tērvete, and also in the Old Pine Park close to the Rehabilitation Centre Tērvete.

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The damaged trees in the Old Pine Park close to the Rehabilitation Centre Tērvete.

The experts of JSC “Latvijas valsts meži” explain that after an infestation of European spruce bark beetle tree is slowly dying and it cannot be saved. Therefore a decision to carry out a thought-through sanitation cutting was made, because only with removal of sick trees the rest of the spruce stands in Nature Park can be saved.

This week, from October 23, a sanitation cutting will be carried out in the Old Pine Park of LVM Nature Park in Tērvete. The section from Rehabilitation Centre Tērvete until the Lopear will be closed for visitors for a week. Territory will be marked off with warning signs. Already next spring it is planned to regenerate forest stand with high quality planting material from the tree nurseries of LVM.

The last time when European spruce bark beetle created major damages in the LVM Nature Park in Tērvete was at the end of 90ies. Expert reveals that any other disease or pest infestation is cyclic, now the trouble has come for spruce stands. Now for the second season the works of European spruce bark beetle can be noticed also by visitors of the park that are not related to forestry. Rather frequently we have to answer to questions – what is happening with spruces in Nature Park?

The LVM Nature Park in Tērvete for more than sixty years is a popular recreation place for all generation with treasured traditions, the biggest pines and very long walking trails. The LVM Nature Park in Tērvete also in the changing, sometimes even in difficult situations have saved its values – be, continue and invite to go to nature!