About forest pests

A forest pest is any organism occurring in unsustainable numbers, placing a constraint on management or utilization of a forest stand. They can threaten the health and vigour of a forest, biodiversity, and the many social, cultural and economic values Albertans enjoy.

Many factors can have negative effects on the health of a forest. Some are biotic, or living, while others are abiotic or non-living.

Biotic Factors Abiotic Factors
  • Disease-causing organisms
  • Insects
  • Parasitic plants or mammals
  • Changing climatic conditions
  • Drought
  • Severe weather events (hail, ice storms)


The Alberta Forest Pest Damage Diagnostic System is an online database detailing host trees, symptoms, biology, impact, terms and images related to tree pests in Alberta. The system allows users to search by symptom, by pest common name or by tree.

Go to Alberta Forest Pest Diagnostic System


Forest pest management is a systematic approach to reducing pest damage to social and economically acceptable levels. The ministry is committed to sustaining the health of our forests, and does so through

  • assessment of risk
  • detection
  • implementation of various management programs in forest stands
  • survey and monitoring


Forest pest fact sheets

Surveys and reports

The forest pest conditions are based on the most current information from various surveys and reports. Conditions are updated as new information becomes available.

Was this page helpful?

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca.