Workers use chainsaws to cut down Douglas Fir Christmas trees at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Ragsdale said consumers need to use common sense and be mindful that live trees “are just like bringing fresh cut flowers from the garden into the home.”
“Does it surprise anyone that you might have insects in a live tree growing on a large Christmas tree farm?” he asked. “Where there are green plants there will be insects and insects are the natural prey of spiders and other predators.”
“You just need to be vigilant,” he said. “Before cutting off the base to place in the stand, give the live tree a good shake outside before bringing indoors. This knocks off the dried needles and could dislodge insect hitchhikers.”
Same goes when purchasing a live tree and temporarily storing it in the garage. Ragsdale said it’s always a good idea to inspect the tree for any unwanted insects before taking the tree inside and decorating.
“You don’t have to go to an extreme and use an insecticide,” he said. “Just give it a good visual inspection before bringing it into the home. All in all, a live Christmas tree is the centerpiece of Christmas tradition.”
This story by Blair Fannin originally appeared in AgriLife Today.
Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. David Ragsdale, 979-845-2516, email@example.com.