A pesticide is the general term used for
substances that include insecticides, herbicides,
fungicides, algicides, miticides and rodenticides. There are more than
7,000 pesticides registered in Canada for use in homes, gardens, on golf
courses, on forests, and along rail and hydro corridors.
In Canada, pesticides are regulated by
Health Canada under the Pest Control Products Act and Pest Control Product
Regulations. Scientific assessment, enforcement, education and information
dissemination are shared among federal, provincial and municipal governments.
Most pesticides are intentionally toxic to the target organisms, however
some pesticides have been banned in Canada, (DDT, and 2,4, 5-T) as they
are also toxic to non-target species and are persistent in the environment.
Non-selective pesticides may affect beneficial
insects, birds, frogs, fish etc.
If used in aerial sprays, may drift off target
Indirect effects on fish include loss of canopy
(and shade) over streams, and reduction of food organisms on aquatic or
Resistance may develop in weed or insect species.
Inert additives – surfactants, solvents, lubricants,
solubilizers and suspension agents- are generally not listed on labels,
(to protect manufacturing trade secrets) yet many have adverse side-effects.
Persistence in the environment of active ingredients,
additives and metabolic by-products.
|Ten percent of the pesticides
sold in Ontario are used in the forest industry. One of the most common
pesticides used in the forest industry is the herbicide glyphosate – probably
know best as “Roundup”. It is also sold to farmers and gardeners under
the names Vision, Vantage, Rodeo, Accord, Wrangler, Erase etc. It is a
non-selective herbicide and is used to kill broad-leaved plants, grasses
|Issues specific to glyphosate
Glysophate drift damage
to apple tree and cucumber plant
US EPA has found glyphosate to be “extremely
persistent” and slightly toxic to birds, aquatic vertebrates, and fish
and moderately toxic to embryo and larvae.
Surfactants added to Roundup have been found
to be much more toxic than glyphosate.
It has been found in surface and ground waters
and binds to some soils.
Non-specific, can also affect raspberries, blueberries
Used for vegetation control, it results in decreased
habitat complexity causing a decrease in invertebrate populations and songbird
|Insects and disease
are a natural part of forest eco-systems. Researchers studying forest ecology
at the Ontario Forest Research Institute (OFRI) in Sault Ste. Marie note
that Armillaria root disease has evolved with Ontario trees and acts as
a forest thinning agent – taking out weaker trees and freeing up space
for more vigorous trees. Ice and wind storms clear out deadwood and the
rotting branches on the forest floor release nutrients for younger trees
to use. Standing and fallen dead trees provide habitat for many species
of plants and animals.
Above: effects of Armillaria
root disease include root rot, dying trees, trees susceptible to windthrow
Many forest pests are well known to Ontarians.
Some species are native to our forests such as forest tent caterpillars
and spruce budworm, and some are imported or ‘exotic’ species such
as Gypsy moth and Dutch elm disease. White pine blister rust - an
aggressive fungal disease that was imported from Europe, and recently the
brown long horned beetle – imported into Ontario via wood packing crates
are some of the more recent insect pests that may affect forest health.
The Forest Management Planning Manual (FMPM)
and pest management:
Silvicultural and renewal activities are part
of the overall forest management plan and details of annual pesticide control
program regulations and procedures are documented in the annual operations
Pesticides may be applied as ground sprays, on
vegetation, stumps, or as aerial sprays. The Forest Operations and Silvicultural
Manual and Aerial Spraying for Forest Management Manual provide guidance
for developing spray plans and conduct of operations including communications
with the public.
Forestry companies mail out ‘Notifications of
aerial spraying’ to interested parties and post notices in local
newspapers at least 30 days prior to application (usually in late July
and August). Notices lists townships they intend to spray, approximate
timing and contact information for interested parties. Project descriptions
and plans are available for public inspection. Signs are posted in
the area to be sprayed (not more than 7 days) prior to spraying and remain
on site for at least 30 days following completion of the project.
Other precautions (training, protective clothing,
etc.) are taken to protect workers, and to reduce environmental effects
– these include consideration of weather factors that may affect drift,
and set-backs from stream and water courses.
Papers Prepared for Northwatch Forest Project Symposium on Herbicide Use
in Forest Management
Background and Research Papers related to Herbicide Use in Forest Management
Use in Forest Management - Northwatch Forest Project 2006 Fall Presentations
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