Researchers from University of Alberta, Ellen MacDonald, Dooley (Victor) Lieffers and Julie Steinke speak about their research which is meant to be a long-term project into how different treatment affects regrowth. Their research included some microsites left as found but conditions described as accurately as possible. This may, in the future, tell them what kind of sites are best for replanting pines.
When the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) arrived in Alberta some nine or 10 years ago it hit hard. Whole areas of pine trees were red with dead or dying trees, and people everywhere were losing trees on private property, golf courses were losing trees, towns were losing trees from boulevards as the beetles which had dug in under the bark, spreading the fungus that killed pine trees.
Now, the MPB has faded from the news but the effect is still here. Some mills decided they would take the dead pine trees but only up to three years after death. However, some have continued to take the trees, in spite of the difficulties. The trees are very brittle and shatter easily being loaded, being moved, going through the saws. The sawdust produced cutting them is much more flammable and is blamed for the destruction of two sawmills.
While all of this is interesting, some important research has been going on into how to help the forest recover from the MPB infestation.