Incidence of Monochamus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) species in Nova Scotia, Canada Christmas tree plantations and comparison of panel traps and lures from North America and Europe


Blatt, S.E., Bishop, C., Sweeney, J. (2017). Incidence of Monochamus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) species in Nova Scotia, Canada Christmas tree plantations and comparison of panel traps and lures from North America and Europe, 149(2), 191-203.

Plain language summary

Balsam fir Christmas trees are a significant industry in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada, generating $55 million to the Canadian economy. A large portion of the Christmas trees produced are exported to the USA and other central American destinations. Nova Scotian growers would like to expand their market and ship into Europe, however, there is a current ban in place preventing all wood products from Canada from entering Europe without a heat treatment. For Christmas trees such a treatment would negatively affect the quality of the product, hence is not a feasible solution. Wood products from Canada are banned from Europe due to the presence of the pine wood nematode and its associated beetle, the Pine Sawyer throughout Canada. While the nematode impacts predominantly pine species, it has been found in mature and stressed balsam fir trees. The Pine Sawyer beetle helps to move the nematode between trees and can be found in every province throughout Canada. Balsam fir Christmas trees have not previously been examined as a host for either the pine wood nematode or the Pine Sawyer beetle. As Christmas trees are young, healthy and relatively non-stressed, they are not considered a suitable host for pinewood nematode. While the Pine Sawyer beetle can transfer the nematode during egg-laying or while feeding on foliage during its maturation phase of development, it is unknown if the pinewood nematode can survive in Christmas trees even if transferred. The first step in understanding this system in Canadian balsam fir Christmas trees is to determine if the Pine Sawyer beetle can be found in Christmas tree plantations and which traps would be most effective to monitor this insect. In both North American and Europe, a type of panel trap is used with a lure specific to each continent. Testing of these traps and lures in Nova Scotia found three species of Pine Sawyer beetle to be present in Christmas tree plantations. Further, the beetles preferred the North American trap over the European trap. With respect to the lures, two of the three species preferred the North American lure but one species preferred the European lure. For the purposes of growers wishing to determine if they have the Pine Sawyer beetle in their plantation, using the North American trap baited with the North American lure will effectively provide that information.


© 2016 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Christmas trees from Nova Scotia, Canada are banned from import into the European Union (EU) because they may be infected with the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Steiner and Buhrer) Nickle (Nematoda: Parasitaphelenchidae). Monochamus Dejean (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) species known to vector pinewood nematode are present in Nova Scotia but their abundance in Christmas tree plantations and surrounding stands has not been assessed. We conducted trapping surveys and experiments in 2014 and 2015 to determine the species of Monochamus and their relative abundance in Nova Scotia Christmas tree plantations and the surrounding forests. We also compared commercially available traps and lures from Europe (cross-vane traps, Galloprotect lure=monochamol+ipsenol+α-pinene+2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol) and North America (intercept panel traps, North American lure=monochamol+ipsenol+α-pinene+ethanol) for their efficacy at catching Monochamus species in a 2×2 factorial experiment. We captured three Monochamus species (M. scutellatus (Say), M. notatus (Drury), and M. marmorator Kirby) in Nova Scotia Christmas tree plantations. Mean trap catches were greater within the plantations than in the surrounding forests. North American panel traps coated with Fluon® and baited with the European lure caught the most M. notatus and M. scutellatus and would be most suitable for survey and monitoring.

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