Bark beetles have damaged almost 2,000 hectares of state-owned forest, the inventory of the State Forest Management Center (RMK) showed. RMK plans to cut 3.8 million cubic meters of wood this year.
Damage from the bark beetles does not increase the overall felling volume, although felling is increased in damaged forests. The elimination of bark beetles will continue during the spring harvest.
RMK said to limit the spread of bark beetles, up to a thousand hectares of damaged forest should be additionally removed this year and 200,000 cubic meters of wood should be processed quickly.
Member of the Management Board of RMK Tavo Uuetalu said in order to reduce the number of beetles, it is necessary to cut down trees from damage sites and leave them there for a few weeks.
"Then the beetles that have wintered in the soil inhabit the raw logs. It makes sense to cut down the damaged trees. In autumn, we leave the spruce trees that are healthy, we do not cut them, in the spring, during the birds' peaceful period, we cut down spruce trees which have been badly damaged. The overall feeling volume will not increase under the current plan," Uuetalu said.
RMK generally does not clear-cut forests which have been damaged by the bark beetles, only in exceptional cases and in agreement with the Environmental Board. One such felling site is near Koeru by Piibe Highway.
Tarmo Tamm, the procurement manager of RMK's Northeast region, said approximately 35 hectares will be cut down due to damaged trees.
Dried logs are generally not good for producing high-quality building materials, they are sold as logs and used to produce pellets. However, there is no reason to fear the overheating of the firewood market now, because according to Uuetalu, there was no proper winter and the foresters were in serious trouble regarding logging activities.
"Today, there is a situation in the Estonian market where there is the greatest shortage of firewood. So I think that if we cut down these damaged trees, we will balance the firewood market," Uuetalu said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino