That’s not the radio you just heard. It’s a fresh holiday beat from a Federal Government employee! Before you plug your ears or throw a cup full of egg nog at this blog post, please close your eyes and take a moment to think about the poor Christmas trees-in-training out there.
As they grow into canvases fit for a festoon of tinsel and popcorn garland, some Christmas trees are beset by damaging agents and mottled by disease. Insects, mites, fungi, and nematodes can lay waste to hearty spruce, pine, and fir. That all sounds so dire. Thankfully, it’s preventable and treatable. And there’s a government resource for that! Ok, you can open your eyes now.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service’s Christmas Tree Pest Manual shows how to diagnose and control damaging Christmas tree pests. This tidy publication provides easy-to-use guidance to ensure that Christmas trees of the North Central and Northeastern regions of the United States are vigorously fit for their wintry spectacle.
A read thru of the varied afflictions listed in the manual will renew your appreciation for the health threats trees must overcome to arrive at your local home improvement store parking lot. Take the bagworm for example. While they might serve for a fitting ingredient in a wizardly potion, bagworm larvae thin foliage and render a Christmas tree unfit for sale.
In case you’re worried the topic of Christmas tree pest management is not in your wheelhouse, the manual includes some comforting language in the introduction. “You do not have to be a pest specialist to use this information. The manual was written in everyday language so that anyone with an interest in Christmas trees can read and understand it.” Whew! Now you can confidently pick up Christmas Tree Pest Manual and tell those loathsome yellow-bellied sapsuckers good riddance.
And if you’d like to take your pest manual reading to the next level, the USDA’s Major Forest Insect and Disease Conditions in the United States: 2013 is a concretely good deep-dive.
With early identification and control, injuries to stem, root, branch, and shoot don’t have to be the four horseman of the Christmas tree apocalypse. Because a winter wonderland without healthy Christmas trees is no winter wonderland at all.
How do I obtain these resources?
Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.
- Click here to purchase Christmas Tree Pest Manual
- Click here to purchase Major Forest Insect and Disease Conditions in the United States: 2013
- Click here to browse our Trees & Forests collection
Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.
About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.