Maine Forestry 2007 - All rights reserved

Maine Prepares for Outbreak of Spruce Budworm.

The spruce budworm is making a comeback.  This should be a concern to Maine landowners, loggers, and wood dependent industries.  Fir and spruce could be adversely affected and this could have an impact on woodland owners in Maine.  Spruce and fir stands could be weakened or killed.  An invasion of the budworm could affect the already strained softwood markets.  If everyone is trying to sell softwood, the price could drop more, or markets may become scarce.  The Maine Forest Service is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to do so.  The Maine Forest Service releases reports quarterly and interested parties should read them.  I will make this information available on my website.  I have copied the latest news release and you can read it below. 


What should you do?  If you own land that contains a lot of softwood, you should monitor the situation.  Read the reports and as they become available.  To harvest, or not to harvest, is your decision.


The following link gives the data about the traps being used and the data they have generated:

What is Spruce Budworm?

  • Native insect

  • Eats needles of fir and spruce trees

  • Population either very high or very low

  • 40 year cycle in sync with maturing of fir & spruce

  • Kills trees by eating all the needles year after year

Spruce Budworm Prognosis:

  • Noticeable defoliation in Maine in 2-4 years

  • Will kill trees and reduce growth

  • Perhaps not as severe as last outbreak

    • Trees are younger

    • Not as contiguous across the landscape

    • Infestations may be shifting north


For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: