Central European Forest Damaged by the Spruce Bark Beetle Greater than Anticipated

Data supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture in Germany indicates that more forests have been destroyed in both countries than originally expected in recent months. An extended autumn season and an exceptionally mild winter has allowed the bark beetle to expand, with little to slow down its destructive powers. According to forest experts, the worst is yet to come, with the peak of bark beetle damage not expected to be reached until 2021, or later.  Removal of the freshly infested trees from the forest as soon as possible is recommended to limit the growth of the bark beetle. But the volume of damaged timber continues to expand due to an ongoing drought, forest fires, pest infestation and strong storms. Salvage harvests are creating a glut of logs and and depress prices. In many cases, the prices do not cover logging costs, let alone the process of reforestation, which is estimated at 7,000 to 10,000 euros per hectare of forest. A similar update was recently reported for the Czech Republic, where the volume of damaged has doubled each year since 2017.

To understand the market impacts of this massive beetle infestation, see FEA’s Central European Beetle & Windstorm Timber Disaster Report.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.