Generic Forest Health Surveys Guidebook

Table of Contents

Stand-level Surveys

Post–free growing, generic stand level forest health surveys are rarely conducted. Where specific problems are seen to exist, surveys focused on the problems are more commonly conducted. These focused surveys are discussed in the following section, Stand Management Prescription: Forest Health Assessment. The procedures for those surveys are detailed in the relevant forest health guidebooks.

Stand Management Prescription: Forest Health Assessment

Assessment of forest health should begin by reviewing the silviculture prescription and past silviculture surveys, in particular the free growing survey. Where the past survey information is recent, a walkthrough of the site to confirm the information should suffice. Where past information is dated, a survey, analogous to the silviculture prescription free growing survey, should be conducted. Refer to the Silviculture Surveys Guidebook for methods.

Complete the forest health component of the stand management prescription with current survey information. The prescription should identify the location and incidence of forest health factors. Where the incidence of these factors exceeds treatment thresholds, treatment options should be included in the prescription. Stand management prescription monitoring should occur on a regular basis to ensure that the prescription continues to adhere to forest health objectives.

Forest health thresholds and treatment option recommendations for stand management prescriptions are summarized below. Greater detail regarding these thresholds and treatments may be presented in the relevant forest health guidebooks.


Root diseases

Thresholds for treatment of armillaria, phellinus, and tomentosus in stand management prescriptions are presented in the Root Disease Management Guidebook. Particularly for the Nelson Forest Region, refer also to the publication by Norris et al (1998). Contact the regional pathologist for guidance on the selection and use or root rot surveys methods.

Dwarf mistletoes

Any residual, over-topping, dwarf mistletoe–infected tree that jeopardizes the health of young crop trees should, if possible, be removed. The prescription and/or local forest district staff must be consulted about why the residual trees were retained at the time of harvesting before a recommendation is made to remove them. Once over-topping infection sources are removed, free growing trees should out-grow the dwarf mistletoe infections. Refer to the Dwarf Mistletoe Management Guidebook sections on partial cut harvesting, stand management assessment, and assessing strata not treated for dwarf mistletoe due to other resource management objectives.

Comandra and stalactiform blister rusts and western gall rust

A five-step process for the evaluation of stand, site, and disease conditions for plans and prescriptions is included in the Pine Stem Rust Management Guidebook. Disease incidence and treatment levels for rusts infecting lodgepole pine vary with the age of stand. Particularly for the Prince George Forest Region, refer also to the regional Standard Operating Procedures (BCMOF 2000).

White pine blister rust

Where there is a significant component of the pine to be managed, consult the Pine Stem Rust Management Guidebook. For stands with 10% of western white pine and where there is no specific intention to manage for it, do not take action to control the disease.



Consult the forest district regarding the expected trend of defoliator infestations. Where current or expected (based on an existing infestation) defoliation is greater than 50 %, including terminal bud death, undertake silvicultural treatments, such as spacing, with concurrent direct defoliator control treatments or wait until the infestation has subsided. Consult the Defoliator Management Guidebook for additional information.

Bark beetles (in partial cutting silviculture systems)

Consult forest district staff to advise them of identified infestation(s) and to get recommendations for treatment. The likely treatment recommendation will be to remove all current attack trees before the next beetle flight. The practicality of this will depend on the timing of the beetle survey and the prescription harvesting options for the site. Consult forest district staff regarding other beetle containment options, such as pheromone baiting or creation of trap trees (see the Bark Beetle Management Guidebook).

Terminal weevils

Weevil attack rates vary with stand age and height. Surveys for weevil damage should be delayed until the stand is at least 15 years old, for both the interior and coast, in order to detect the peak annual attack intensity.

Surveys specifically recording spruce weevil damage are conducted with two objectives:

Based on initial surveys, a decision "tree" for the management and rehabilitation of stands attacked by the spruce weevil is included in the Terminal Weevil Guidebook.

Other insects

No provincial treatment thresholds have been established; please consult regional forest health staff.


No provincial treatment thresholds have been established; please consult regional BCMOF staff. Ministry of Environment wildlife biologists may also offer assistance.


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