Yellowhead County Residents play an important role in managing the mountain pine beetle infestation. Early detection and control are critical in managing Alberta's MPB infestations and preventing further spread.
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Background: Mountain Pine Beetle is an insect with the potential to devastate landscapes. A large MPB outbreak started in British Columbia in the early 1990s. Since that time the insect has killed about 50% of the total volume of commercial lodgepole pine in that province. While isolated records of MPB had been noted in Alberta before, it was the massive migration of beetles into Alberta from outbreaks in British Columbia in 2006 that has since fueled the spread in this province.
Mountain pine beetles in your backyard?
The mountain pine beetle is a small, black beetle about the size of a grain of rice. Over the past few years, mountain pine beetles have been expanding east into Alberta from British Columbia.
What type of trees may be attacked?
Mountain pine beetles attack and kill pine trees, usually mature ones aged 80 to 120 years old. All species of pine including lodgepole, jack pine, Scots pine and ponderosa pine are vulnerable. They do not attack aspen, spruce or fir trees. Pine can be distinguished from other trees by their long needles attached to branches in groups of 2-5.
When do beetles attack trees and how long do they stay in trees?
Beetles fly in search of new trees in July and August. Once a beetle has found a suitable tree, it will live in that tree for the remainder of its life and lay eggs. The new generation of beetles will not emerge from the tree for at least one year.
If my tree is attacked, will it die?
Unfortunately, yes. Trees successfully attacked by mountain pine beetles usually die within one year.
How can I tell if my trees have been attacked?
Look for creamy globs that look like crystallized honey, called pitch tubes, and sawdust at the base of the tree and in the bark’s crevices.
What do I do if my tree is infested?
If you suspect a Mountain Pine Beetle infestation on your property, please contact the Yellowhead Agriculture Department in Wildwood for assistance at 1‐800‐814‐3935, or:
Mountain Pine Beetle Surveys and Control
Mountain Pine Beetle Surveys are conducted on pine trees within Yellowhead County during the month of April and May. Survey crews will require access to private property to conduct surveys and will be able to provide identification upon request.
Follow up control activities will be conducted in April and May until completed. Control activities will remove 100 % of mountain pine beetles found through surveys. Control activities will consist of tree removal or removal of beetles from the trees. Only trees that are heavily hit by beetles will be removed.
Funding for the program was provided by the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry through a Mountain Pine Beetle Control Program Grant.
For further information contact Harry Ullrich, Deci-con Consultants Ltd.
By phone at (780) 817-3230 or Jennifer Benson, Yellowhead County at 1 (800) 814-3935.
Yellowhead County Agricultural Services will again be offering the Spring Seedling Program. Seedlings are sold at bulk prices and will be delivered to Yellowhead County offices in the spring where they will be available for pick up.
The seedlings range from 1-year-old plugs to 3-year-old bare root seedlings. The average size of the seedlings received will be from 15 cm tall to 72 cm tall depending on the species.
- No application required
- Anyone residing within Yellowhead County is eligible
- 16 different species of trees
- Great for shelterbelts and acreages
Yellowhead County Seedling Program
Cost per Seedling
$1.85 - $4.10 per seedling
$3.00 and $5.00 per seedling
Order forms and a list of the species are available below or at Yellowhead County’s Edson and Wildwood offices.
Order forms must be submitted before January 27, 2017, and payment is required in full upon submitting your order.
Trees will be available for pickup from either County office location in May of this year.
images courtesy of treetime.ca
Yellowhead County Agricultural Services Board has approved a Fence Line Program to control Noxious and/or Prohibited Noxious weeds and encroaching brush along fence lines on private property adjacent to Yellowhead County roads and right-of-ways.
The Fence Line Program will allow Yellowhead County owned vehicles and equipment to enter the private land and apply herbicide from the fence line to the County Right of Way. This programs will help Yellowhead
County control weeds and brush without the chances of an over spray onto private land where sensitive crops or trees may be.
Herbicide will only be applied to County owned land and not onto the private land; exceptions are made for fields used for agricultural purposes where landowners may choose to have the four foot strip from the fence line to their crop sprayed that larger spray equipment or cultivators tends to miss. Sites will be pre-inspected to determine if the property qualifies for the program and what equipment and herbicide will be necessary.
The landowner will be asked to sign a release allowing the County access to the property and permission to use herbicide as agreed upon by the landowner and Yellowhead County Agricultural Services Staff. This program will be completed on a first come first served basis and at no charge to landowners.
Yellowhead County has added the Fence Line Program to enhance services to the residents of Yellowhead County in addition to the existing Roadside Vegetation Management Plan.
If you would like more information on this or any Agricultural Services Programs or to register for the Fence Line Program please contact the Agricultural Services Department in Wildwood at 1 800-814-3935.
Yellowhead County Agriculture Services requires landowners who do not want herbicides applied adjacent to their property to either sign up with a new No-Spray agreement or renew their agreement annually prior to April 1st of each year.
If you have chosen not to renew an agreement for this year, we ask that you please remove your signs prior to the start of the spray season starting May 1st.
Yellowhead County requires each landowner/occupant who has signed the agreement to fulfill their obligations before the July 1st deadline. If obligations are not met after the July 1st deadline, Yellowhead County re-assumes responsibility for weed/brush control on Yellowhead County Roadsides and may apply herbicide adjacent to non compliant properties if necessary.
Residents who have any concerns or questions with respect to the spraying of roadsides in their area or No Spray Agreements are urged to contact Yellowhead County Agricultural Services at 1-800-814-3935 or (780) 325-3782.
THE NEW 2016 NO-SPRAY AGREEMENT FORM WILL BE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD HERE OR AT EITHER COUNTY OFFICES STARTING JANUARY 4, 2016.
If you're looking for an option to control Canada thistle besides using herbicides, hand picking or mowing, this biological control agent may be right for you. The Canada thistle Stem Mining Weevil (Hadroplontus litura) was introduced from Europe to Canada in 1965 and to the USA in the early 1970's to feed on Canada thistle. The weevil restricts its feeding to this weed and a few close relatives. Weevil feeding may allow a variety of other micro-organisms to enter the thistle stem, with adverse consequences for the thistle: field studies in Montana indicated that underground parts of stems are much more subject to winter kill if the aboveground stem is attacked by weevils during the growing season.
West Central Forage Association has been working with local producers on the release of these weevils for years. Sites where weevils have been released have generally shown decreased stand vigour and patches thin out over time. In 2012, 50 dishes (each containing 105 weevils) were brought up from Montana for producers in the West Central Region who were interested in the purchase and release them in thistle patches. Added to this were 58 dishes for a regional trial set up by the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta. Yellowhead County releases these weevils as well along the edges of rivers, lakes and streams in or near Right of Ways where herbicide application is prohibited.
If you are interested in purchasing some Weevils please contact:
West Central Forage Association
P.O. Box 360