Forest Health, Urban Forestry and Forest Renewal

The Forestry and Peatlands Branch monitors for various forest insects and diseases, including spruce budworm, and Dutch elm disease along with invasive pests, such as emerald ash borer and gypsy moth. Monitoring is done through visual inspections and trapping of adult insects, aerial surveys and remote sensing. In some cases, control programs are implemented to curb the spread and damage caused by some forest insects and diseases in the province.

Urban Forests

Manitoba's communities are fortunate to have beautiful urban forests. Constant maintenance and management is necessary to maintain the health of these valuable trees and forests. Manitoba's largest forest health program involves the management of Dutch elm disease. For more information:

Forest Insects and Diseases

In Manitoba, forest insects and diseases of concern are regulated by The Forest Health Protection Act and the associated regulations. This legislation contains provisions that help prevent the entry of invasive forest threats, manage any new infestations detected in the province and manage outbreaks of forest insects/diseases that are native to Manitoba.

Manitoba's forests are vast and beautiful; however, like all boreal forest ecosystems, they contain native populations of insects and diseases. Our forests follow a natural cycle that includes increased infestations of insects and disease as the trees grow older. If not managed, trees either succumb to infestations and/or then forest fire resulting in a new young forest. Our forests contain many insects and diseases; however, pests of note include: spruce budwormforest tent caterpillardwarf mistletoejack pine budworm, and eastern larch beetle. For more information on forest insects and diseases, go to the Canadian Forest Service website.

Invasive Insects and Diseases

Due to the ease of movement of people and goods across the globe, insects and diseases from other parts of the world threaten Manitoba's trees and forests. Wood products including firewood if not properly treated can spread forest invasive species, do your part and learn what you can do to limit spread of invasive in Manitoba.  Currently the most concerning species threatening Manitoba's forest include mountain pine beetle, emerald ash borer, European gypsy moth and cottony ash psyllid. For more on Manitoba's campaign against all invasive species, go to

Winnipeg is under Federal quarantine for the movement of ash wood and firewood of all species due to the discovery of emerald ash borer in 2017.  Do your part and help limit the spread of emerald ash borer to the rest of Manitoba.  Know the law.

Forest Renewal

The mission of Manitoba's Forest Renewal Program is to ensure that all harvested forests are satisfactorily regenerated to maintain the existing mosaic of forest ecosystem stand types, on untenured Crown land.

The principal components of the program include:

  • promoting natural regeneration on Crown Lands
  • continued site preparation and tree planting on Crown Lands, and
  • the implementation of stand tending, competitive vegetation management and intensive silviculture in renewed forests and plantations.

These objectives are carried out through three specific programs: the Forest Renewal Program, the Tree Improvement Program, and the Silviculture Surveys Program.

What is Silviculture?

Silviculture is the art, science and practice of controlling the establishment, composition, health, quality, and growth of the vegetation of forest stands. Silviculture involves the manipulation, at the stand and landscape levels, of forest and woodland vegetation, including live vegetation, and the control of production of stand structures, such as snags and down logs, to meet the needs and values of society and landowners on a sustainable basis.

Dunister, Julian A. and K. J. Dunister. 1996. Dictionary of Natural Resource Management.

Silviculture in Manitoba

To meet the mandate of returning harvested forests to their pre-harvest condition, proper forest management requires that all planned operations carried on a given block of land be linked through the various treatments and programs required.

One component, Forest Renewal and the activities associated with it, such as site preparation, scarification and tree planting for example, must be determined in advance of harvesting and are linked to the pre-harvest forest conditions. These conditions are documented during pre-harvest surveys. These surveys on planned harvesting block or sites confirm the forest resource inventory and assist forest planners in prescribing the type of harvesting activity to occur. Based on the type of harvesting, and site considerations such as soil type or understorey vegetation and presence of competition species, the forest renewal activities that will be required to regenerate the site back to its pre-harvest condition, are determined. The season of operation, type of site preparation or scarification equipment and the silviculture system necessary for reforestation (natural vs. planted including the species and stock type) are also decided.

The prescribed renewal activities occur sequentially over the short-term, to get the forest growing again. With long-term monitoring performed via Forest Renewal Assessments, and any subsequent silviculture treatment that may be necessary such as vegetation management, forest managers can meet the planned renewal goals and achieve the required Renewal Standards for each block. The successfully regenerated forest can then be incorporated back into the forest resource inventory and wood supply models to begin the cycle again.

Forest Renewal Assessment Manual

Portions of the Forest Renewal web pages are taken from The Manitoba Silviculture Manual, Volume 1, 1991. J.D. Vaillancourt and numerous documents by J. Delaney, et al.