EFFECTIVE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PROTECTION AGAINST PINE WEEVIL
Treating seedlings with Conniflex means that the plant is protected by a coating of sand that is glued to the plant. This protection prevents the pine weevil from damaging the bark. During treatment at the nursery, the plant passes through three stations: gluing, sanding and hardening. This is how Conniflex works:
In the gluing unit, the plant is first sprayed with a film of water. After this, a water-based glue is applied, which runs along the stem. To make sure that the glue reaches all the way to the bottom of the stem, as the pine weevil crawls up from the ground, the plant is placed on a vibrating plate which evenly distributes the glue.
In the sanding unit, fine grains of sand are blown onto the stem using compressed air. The sand sticks to the glue on the plant. Even though the grains of sand are very small, they are large enough to prevent the pine weevil’s jaws from getting past them. At the same time, the grains of sand are not so large that gaps are formed, through which the pine weevil could get to the stem. All of this is performed automatically inside the sanding unit, which is a closed unit. This is good for the working environment. The weight of the plants is not affected by the sand.
The glue is dried in the drying unit. This is performed in a controlled environment to avoid drying out or damaging the plant. The protection is now complete, and the plants are transported onwards on the conveyor in order to be packed into boxes, for example.
The Pine Weevil
The pine weevil is a serious pest in the forest. The insect principally attacks young and susceptible coniferous plants. It does this by gnawing away the thin bark. Without its protective bark, the plant dies.
The pine weevil has to be stopped. Otherwise, more than 80 per cent of the plants can die within three years following the planting of new forest. It is therefore important to protect the plants from the pine weevil’s jaws. This is particularly critical during the first two years after planting. Significant amounts of bark can be gnawed away in each hectare of forest land. On average, each pine weevil eats 23 mm2 of bark a day in the summer.
The pine weevil is a costly pest for the forestry industry. Replanting forest is expensive. And damaged forest grows poorly. It has been estimated that the pine weevil causes damage worth hundreds of millions of Swedish kronor to the forestry industry. Every year.