Province on lookout for tree killing invasive species

Forestry crews in Saskatchewan are on the lookout for the mountain pine beetle, which has killed trees and has turned huge patches of forests red.

According to the province’s forest insect and disease expert, the invasive species is extremely prevalent in B.C. and Alberta but is making its way east.

The ministry says the beetles have been in the Cypress Hills for a long time, but have yet to spread to the northern part of the province.

The beetle lays its eggs in pine trees, then they hatch and feed on the tree, killing it.

Usually, cold winters and limited food access can contain the pests, but the ministry says winters in Saskatchewan have been warmer than normal over the past couple of years.

The ministry adds that they have contained the spread in Cypress Hills by removing infested trees.

The province says the best way to stop the spread of these invasive species, and diseases like Dutch Elm is to buy and burn local firewood.

More from 620 CKRM