Beetle Probing

Torrent Silviculture has worked with West Fraser and Tolko mills throughout the interior of British Columbia surveying beetle-infested tree stands. The probing season usually runs from late august until late October depending on snowpack and site accessibility. Our work volume varries from season to season, depending on provincial demand. 

What is Beetle Probing?

Beetle probing is a seasonal occupation in the forestry industry that is a combination of surveying and pest control. It involves assessing trees in a given area which have been infested by the mountain pine or Douglas fir beetle. It is part of the ongoing effort to limit the extent of the beetle infestation in British Columbia.

To start the process, designated aircraft will fly over timber stands to look for groups of red-needled or grey trees of four or more. They mark GPS points for each of these sites. The beetle probers then go to these sites via bush roads and walking. They will set up a predetermined perimeter circle, then inspect every pine tree within this circle for signs of the beetle. This could include stripped bark, red needles, and “pitch outs”; where sap has dripped out of the small holes left by beetles as they burrow into the tree.

Every infested tree must be marked with spray paint and often, a GPS location. Suspect trees will be cut into with a hatchet to determine if there are larvae present within the tree.

Infested areas will then be cut down to mitigate the spread of infestation.

Interested in Working with Us?

Torrent strives to hire all levels of experience and ages for its planting operations. New workers are integral for the industry, and by incorporating them into our company it provides an element of sustainability for future seasons. We believe there are many advantages to having a diverse range of experience throughout our crews. Our more experienced workers are able to share knowledge that you can only get in the field with less experienced workers, ultimately helping to create a more safe and ready workforce. By promoting diversity within our crews, we hope to create an environment which prompts curiosity and open dialogue, where everyone can learn something new from each other.

While silviculture has had a reputation of being a college or university students' summer job which helps pay for their education, it has become a career for many of our employees. Due to its high paying work it can provide stability, community, and an ever-changing work environment for those involved. Torrent also offers post-planting work such as fire work, medic work, brushing, and slash pile burning. Silviculture as an industry is constantly changing, but one thing that is constant is its draw to creative, hardworking individuals who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty.

Torrent is a SAFE certified company, meeting and exceeding highest safety standards within the industry. Through our training, dedicated crew bosses and supervisors, and in-depth anti-harassment training, we pride ourselves in creating a safe space for all genders, sexual orientations, races and religions.

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