Hylobius Research Fund

The large pine weevil, or Hylobius abietis has a voracious appetite for young conifer trees and is the biggest single threat to newly planted conifers on restocking sites. it will also kill young broadleaves. Just one weevil can kill an unprotected tree by stripping the bark around the stem.

Conservative estimates suggest that the annual direct costs to forest owners in the UK from pine weevil damage is likely to be in the region of £7 million each year. (Image above: Crown Copyright, © Forest Research)

Through the Hylobius Research Fund we are supporting the work of the Hylobius Industry Research Programme (or HIRP) to find an alternative to the pesticide acetamiprid which is the current protection control method for pine weevil. More information on HIRP can be found here. HIRP has six priority areas of work:

1. Develop alternatives to chemicals that will work in areas of high pine weevil (Hylobius) population, including physical barrier products.

2. Develop a viable biocontrol option - using insect pathogenic organisms such as fungi and nematodes that prey on and kill Hylobius.

3. Identify a range of alternative, weather resistant, non-neonicitinoid pesticides, that have low environmental impact, and that might be used as a last resort, if other non-chemical methods fail.

4. Use tree genetics to identify resistance characteristics in Sitka spruce with a view to breeding more resistant planting stock.

5. Develop an improved predictive Hylobius population model, appropriate for use in all situations.

6. Create a regularly updated guide on Hylobius integrated pest management for use by all stakeholders across the sector.

HIRP is a partnership of public and private sector organisations working in the forestry sector across the UK and Ireland.

HIRP Partners:

Cawdor Forestry; Coillte; Confor; Daera; Forestry England; Forestry and Land Scotland; Forest Research; Fountains Forestry, Maelor; Natural Resources Wales; Oxford University; RTS; Scottish Forestry Trust; Scottish Woodlands; Swansea University; Tilhill, and; Trees Please.

Please Support Us:

You can help right now by making a donation to help us support research into the future survival of young trees in the UK. If you are a forest manager then the suggested donation is £2.50 per Ha treated per annum - as an example this equates to £100 (40ha), £250 (100ha), £500 (200ha), £1,000 (400ha). You can either do this by using the online payment system below (the amount can be varied) or if you would like to donate using BACS or cheque please contact director@scottishforestrytrust.org.uk

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