If you enjoy the tradition of a real Christmas tree each year, the Indiana DNR just asks you to be diligent in checking your tree for pests.

The Great Christmas Tree Debate

When it comes to Christmas trees I feel like there's always a debate between people who prefer real trees and people who prefer fake trees. I was team fake tree all the way until my husband talked me into getting a real tree. Growing up, we always had fake trees, and they're pretty low maintenance once you set them up, so I thought it was the way to go.  However since my husband and I bought our house a few years ago we've been getting real trees, and to be honest, even though they're a little more work, I will deal with watering the tree and the pine needles dropping over having to fluff artificial tree branches ever again.  But that's just me! If you also love the tradition of a real Christmas tree, the Indiana DNR has one request, check for pests!

Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash
Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash

Check Your Tree for Pests

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources recently took to Facebook to announce that they check greenery regularly for pests, but sometimes they can slip through, so they ask that you check your tree to make sure you don't help invasive pests spread in the state.

HELP PREVENT INVASIVE PESTS ON YOUR HOLIDAY GREENERY. DNR inspects holiday greenery coming into our state at this time every year to prevent unwanted pest hitchhikers. Before buying your Christmas tree, wreath, bough, or colorful holiday arrangement, carefully inspect the item for signs of a pest infestation including insects, egg masses, or disease symptoms. Early detection is critical with most invasive species to reduce economic impact. Indiana residents are encouraged to report any suspicious pests by sending photographs to depp@dnr.IN.gov. You may also contact the DNR Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology at 1-866-NO-EXOTIC.



How to Check Your Tree for Pests

Prevention has a great article on what type of pests you'll commonly find on Christmas trees, and they have a few great tips on how to check your tree for pests.  A couple of the most important are to inspect your tree with a bright flashlight, and shake your tree (really)!

Inspect the tree. “It’s never a bad idea to take along a bright flashlight with you as you select your tree,” Gore says. “Shine the light onto the trunk of the tree at several points and look for insects or eggs.” If you see them, try another tree.

Shake your tree. Many places will have a mechanical tree shaker that can be used but, if there’s not one available, Gore recommends giving your tree a “vigorous shake or two” before you put it inside your car or house.

Inspect it again. Just to be safe, before you take the tree into your house.

Have a vacuum at the ready.

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Gallery Credit: Jennnifer Billock