One of the most delightful traditions about the holidays is the Christmas Tree. However, with the recent invasion of the Spotted Lanternfly, many Pennsylvanians are left wondering if they should be hesitant about bringing a possible tainted topiary into their home for the holidays! Is there a cause for concern, or can we celebrate Oh Tannenbaum without trepidation? Read on to see what the experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn have to say.
The Tradition of the Christmas Tree
Moving evergreens indoors in wintertime to celebrate the solstice has been a tradition for centuries, although the Christmas tree got a boost in popularity in America in the late 19th century. Check out this brief history of the Christmas tree by the History Channel in this video:
In the last 150 years, the Christmas tree has become a staple in many homes across the world. Here in Pennsylvania, we have a booming Christmas tree industry. In fact, according to the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association, PA ranks third in the nation for the number of Christmas tree farms.
Should You Be Worried About Spotted Lanternfly on Your Christmas Tree?
While Spotted Lanternfly have invaded Pennsylvania heavily in the last few years, there's not much cause for concern on your Christmas Conifer. The PA Department of Agriculture has been working closely with the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association, and they have been diligently training all tree growers on proper inspection practices. Although the Spotted Lanternfly has been seen on many species of trees, they don't appear to show an interest in the varieties used for Christmas trees. They recently issued a press release to address the issue. In part, they state:
“Pennsylvania’s Christmas tree industry is a treasure to the commonwealth, and our growers take their commitment to consumer satisfaction and high quality products seriously,” said Strathmeyer. “Through regular scouting activities and the development of best management practices, the industry is proactively combatting Spotted Lanternfly and other invasive species.” -Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Fred Strathmeyer.
Inspect Before You Purchase a Christmas Tree
Although the Spotted Lanternfly creeps us out this Christmas, the bottom line is that you should always check any live tree before you bring it into your home. All sorts of insects and critters can hang out in a live tree, so it's best to do a full inspection before your purchase. However, other than the occasional spider (and, of course, Clark Griswold's squirrel mishap) you can rest assured that PA Christmas Tree growers are adhering to strict standards and checking trees before they head to the lot.
If you are still concerned about Spotted Lanternfly in particular, know what to look for! At this time of year, all of the adults have died, but they've left behind egg masses which will hatch in the spring. Check out our informative video here so you know how to recognize Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses and how to remove and destroy them:
“We encourage all Christmas tree lovers to enjoy everything that a real tree adds to the season. It’s a great family tradition and a way to support your local agricultural community. I know that it won’t deter me from having a real tree in my home again this year.” -Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association Executive Director, Denise Calabrese.
If you have questions or concerns, give us a call at 215-682-7704. If you have concerns about Spotted Lanternfly on your property, schedule a FREE inspection with your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist!
Happy Holidays from Giroud Tree and Lawn!