Hawaii Says Aloha to Oregon Christmas Trees
As the holiday season arrives, Pacific Northwest Christmas tree growers have begun harvesting.
Oregon remains the nation’s leading producer of Christmas trees. Oregon Christmas trees are starting to be harvested and shipped to far away markets, including Hawaii. Steps are being taken to make sure pests and diseases don’t arrive with the trees.
Being able to ship them to other states and countries is extremely important, and requires that the Oregon Department of Agriculture perform an inspection and issue what’s called a phytosanitary certificate assuring the trees don’t contain any dangerous pests or diseases:
ODA’s Gary McAninch says Hawaii is a key market. But like all other destinations, they want clean trees and will send them back if there are big pest problems
McAninch: “They are concerned with things like yellow jackets, those are very common here in Oregon. Some of our slugs and snails are high on their list of things they don’t want. We don’t want to send them there, so we have a pretty vigorous program to inspect those trees.”
McAninch says ODA is cooperating with officials in Hawaii on a study to look at using hot water treatment to rid Oregon trees of pests upon arrival. This might eliminate sending the trees back to Oregon at the growers’ expense:
“Let’s say a load of Christmas trees gets to Hawaii and they find snails or yellow jackets on it, they are going to try and use this hot water treatment to kill or rid the trees of those pests. So the trees don’t have to get shipped back to Oregon, they can stay in Hawaii.”