What is a Forest Pest?

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)

Common Forest Pests and Damage Agents

The Alberta Forest Pest Damage Diagnostic System is a tool that can help determine the specific forest pest or agent causing damage to trees.

Managing Forest Pests

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

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.


Follow the link below for the archived forest pest condition maps.