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Across North America, forest management agencies are facing the challenges of preventing and managing the destruction of trees by pests such as beetles.

The goal is to preserve trees under threat of infestation, safely remove and destroy trees that are unsalvageable or killed.

Beetle Infested Trees – Disposal Options:

Beetle infested trees and slash must be effectively disposed of in the shortest amount of time to keep live beetles from migrating to healthy trees and larvae from developing into mature beetles which could fly to healthy stands.

Chipping was historically the preferred option, advocating that all beetles and larvae would be 100% destroyed and that beetle infested trees could be used by biomass co-generation plants for electric power … arguments which are mostly false.

Beetle infested trees should be destroyed on site and while still green. The most effective and most commercially viable method for the disposal of these trees is the use of above-ground air curtain burners.

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Information Bulletin - BROWN SPRUCE LONGHORN BEETLE:

“The air burner unit is specialized in its design as it forces air into the combustion area and this greatly reduces particulate matter, increasing the performance of the unit. When fully operational the air burner produces no visible smoke and the emissions are within Environment Canada guidelines.”

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7 Reasons to use of Air Burners to help combat beetle infestations:

  1. The Air Burners mobility can be quickly deployed and re-deployed to troubled sites.
  2. The operation of Air Burners is very cost-effective, and the capital cost relatively quite modest.
  3. Large sections of tree trunks can be introduced in one piece, so you don’t need costly chipping which presents the danger of releasing and spreading the organisms you’re trying to eradicate.
  4. No gas or electric power is needed.
  5. You can operate as close as 100 yards to occupied dwellings since there is very little smoke menace, and emissions are well within applicable environmental limits.
  6. Landfill tipping fees are eliminated. Disposal costs are limited to ash removal once the unit is in place.
  7. Air Burners reach very high temperatures that ensure complete destruction of all organisms, pathogenic and otherwise, leaving behind only sterile ash, which may actually be a beneficial by product, as a soil enhancer for clay-like soils or potting soil. This procedure could be considered recycling since it yield a residual product for beneficial re-use.