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The great spruce bark beetle is found in forests throughout continental Europe. It damages spruce trees by tunnelling into the bark of the living trees to lay its eggs under the bark. The developing larvae feed on the inner woody layers, which weakens, and in some cases may kill, the tree. The beetle was first discovered in Britain in 1982 after it was accidentally introduced – most likely via a consignment of imported timber. It has become an established pest in the west of England and Wales but more recently it has expanded its range to southern Scotland. The good news for forest managers is that the beetle can be effectively managed by the controlled release of its natural predator Rhizophagus grandis. This Practice Note provides managers with a framework for assessing the risks to forests and advice on what to look out for if trees are affected. Guidance is given on the control techniques that have been developed to minimise the impact of the beetle and what action should be taken if the beetle is found.


PDF, 1.45 MB

Publication type
UKFS Practice Note
Publication owner
Forestry Commission