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Back Local News Stricter rules urged for Christmas tree shipments

Stricter rules urged for Christmas tree shipments

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THE Guam Department of Agriculture has requested the Plant Division of the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to follow the same pre-shipment requirements for Christmas trees set for Mexico.

In a letter sent by Dr. Russell Campbell, territorial entomologist, he noted that the local inspection staff “continues to intercept large number of insects, spiders and occasionally other types of organisms” in the trees shipped from Oregon.

Most of these organisms, according to Dr. Campbell, “are not established on Guam.” He also stated that during the last Christmas season, “they were forced to fumigate nearly every container which arrived on the island.”

The Guam Department of Agriculture requested that a phytosanitary certificate be released to trees that have complied with the requirements outlined in the letter sent to the ODA.

Primary among these requirements is the implementation of a pest control program that includes application of a pesticide treatment at least 3 to 6 weeks before the harvesting of the trees bound for shipment to Guam.

He also requested for trees that have been mechanically shaken at 700 RPM before transport, and are free of “dead branches, twigs, and yellow or red needles caused by pests or diseases.”

Dr. Campbell is hopeful that the suggested pre-shipment requirements would “prevent the introduction of detrimental organisms into Guam.”

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