Management of the Western Balsam Bark Beetle


Due to its complex biology, the western balsam bark beetle's damage is chronic rather than eruptive. This damage is treated therefore as endemic loss, and no proactive measures are appropriate. The western balsam bark beetle is managed only by harvesting dead and dying trees.


Currently the only regular monitoring for this bark beetle is via annual aerial overview surveys (sketch mapping from fixed-wing aircraft). The only operational ground survey recording this beetle’s damage is through licensee cruise surveys conducted to estimate the volume and condition of standing timber prior to harvest. 


Specific treatments are not recommended due to the chronic mortality caused by this bark beetle in subalpine fir forests in most of British Columbia.

Hazard and risk rating

Western balsam bark beetle is found throughout the range of subalpine fir, its main host.  Stands with high proportions of over-mature subalpine fir are most susceptible. Risk ratings have not been developed for this bark beetle.