Economics of forest industries in Scotland
Our national forest estate looks pristine, natural and healthy but there is something unseen and potentially damaging going on...... the deployment of neonicotinoid pesticides to control the large pine weevil (Hylobius abietis).
This beetle eats the bark of all tree species but is particularly damaging in commercial industrial forestry. Sitka spruce the most numerous and widespread commercial tree species are especially vulnerable to beetle attack and are being treated with a neonicotinoid, (Gazelle) in forest nurseries and commercial woodlands.
|Bark weevil reproduces rapidly in the stumps of recently felled trees and it is necessary for then to die out before replanting or the new plants will be ring barked and killed.|
There are people who work in forestry who think that neonics are potentially damaging to human and ecosystem health and that non-chemical physical barriers to the beetle, nets and wax treatment should be standard practice as in Scandinavia.
Last week I was working with Rachel Watt planting trees on my croft. Rachel is a forestry contractor with 35 years experience, she told me about this problem, it was the first that I knew of it. Most of what goes on in the Forest Industries is completely unknown to the majority of us so I have asked Rachel to write an insider's story of neonics in our woodlands. See the next post.