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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Approach and Rationale to Developing an IPM Program:
Trotter, David
1999: Ames, IA
Insects, weeds, and diseases are a significant part of the production process that nursery growers must consider in order to effectively grow the desired conifer seedling. For the pests and seedlings, the underlying theme is survival, which encompasses 3 major components: stimulus, recognition, and response (Shigo 1991). Thus, the continuation of any system depends on its ability to recognize a stimulus that, in the case of the seedling, threatens or, in the case of the insect, enhances its survival. Once recognized, there must be the ability to respond rapidly and effectively. The speed and effectiveness of the response depends greatly on the availability of energy. In the seedling, reserve energy is used to mount a quick and effective block to any agent that threatens its existence. For the insect or disease, how fast the stimulus is recognized and the degree to which a response is developed are key elements to its survival. Every system has strong and weak periods; therefore, any pest management plan must target the most vulnerable phenological stage of the seedling or pest. Reforestation nurseries represent a unique challenge to the pest managers, as they are subject to pest problems originating from agriculture and forest pest complexes. In addition, conifer seedlings destined for reforestation sites are grown to strict specifications, therefore significantly reducing the nursery’s level of tolerance to pest damage. Nursery managers are eager to reduce pesticide use to satisfy concerns expressed by nursery workers, tree planters, and regulatory agencies. The following is a summary of insect pest management strategies currently under development and implementation in British Columbia (BC) nurseries.

The majority of insect pests in conifer nurseries feed on the needles and shoots of seedlings. Many insects that are general feeders will readily attack young seedlings before their stems become woody and their needles become resinous. These insects are the most easily detected because pest presence or damage can be seen on inspection. (Shrimpton 1990; Sutherland and others 1989).
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