Skip to content

Washington, D.C., December 18, 2018 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that the North Pole was checking out its new USDA traveler information web page. The web page provides important information about which agricultural items may enter the United States – and which ones are best left behind.  This helps to protect the health of our country’s plants, animals and natural resources.   “... We are thrilled to hear directly from Santa’s elves that the big man himself was comparing his gift list to our requirements,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.  “We thank Santa for setting a great example.  We know he always gets a permit for his reindeer to enter the U.S., but this year he’s going above and beyond to help protect our farmers, ranchers and citizens.”
Food and other items (plants, seeds, wood, fiber or straw) from other countries can carry pests and diseases not found in the United States.  Certain items are not allowed to be carried in by travelers, but some items may be allowed with specific documentation.  USDA’s new site helps everyone know what is okay to bring in to the U.S. :

This season, many people are shopping for a perfect cut tree or live tree to decorate their homes.

This season, many people are shopping for a perfect cut tree or live tree to Douglas fir treesdecorate their homes. Our local Christmas tree growers face many challenges to growing a perfect tree, an expensive and time-consuming process. A Christmas tree takes 8 to 10 years to grow to a good size, and there are many hurdles along the way. Trees must be planted properly in good soil, not too shallow or not too deep. It may take up to three years for a transplanted seedling to establish a good root system.
Insect pests and plant diseases can cause problems for Christmas tree growers. Phytophthora root rot is problematic on tree farms in many states. Phytophthora is a fungus-like organism, favored by wet, saturated soils with poor drainage. Roots in saturated soil may be stressed. The best management strategies for root rot are the purchase of clean healthy seedlings and proper site selection, because the best possible control is to avoid Phytophthora root rot to start.
There are other pests and diseases that attack Christmas tree species, such as needlecast fungi that cause spotting and discoloration of needles, and needle drop. Growers must scout their trees, apply fertilizer and pest control, trim to shape, and keep up with research on tree species and new varieties. Sales of trees, following the 10 years of nurturing, all occur yearly within a 4 to 6 week period! Our Christmas tree growers are dedicated agricultural professionals who love to see smiles on the faces of people who purchase and enjoy the trees that they grow!
Find a Delaware Christmas Tree Grower near you at:
NFG 12/5/2016