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Christmas tree/ Holiday wreath shipping regulations
Introduction
xmas shipping
Below is a summary of requirements to ship cut Christmas trees to states and territories of the United States, and to selected foreign countries. Inspections and certifications are provided by Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) personnel. Review the information in the summary and contact the department to arrange field inspections prior to harvest and certification. Please provide at least five days notice before the actual shipping date when requesting certificates. Requests need to be scheduled as far in advance as possible. Destination shipping requirements are subject to change. Shipping to foreign countries and a few domestic destinations requires an electronically filed application on the phytosanitary certification issuance and tracking system (PCIT). Where states require phytosanitary certificates, like Hawaii, PCIT certificates will be used. See separate article regarding PCIT guidelines. Do not confuse a shipping permit with a phytosanitary certificate. All shipments require shipping permits, available upon request from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, but only a few destinations require phytosanitary certificates. Christmas tree brokers must submit a list of all growers and growing locations from which Christmas tree harvest and shipping will occur to the ODA, Plant Division.
 

 
Shipping trees to states and territories within the United States
All bills of lading, invoices, and bills of sale should bear county of origin, as well as, the name and address of the shipper. All shipments of Christmas trees grown in Oregon are required by Oregon law to be accompanied by a shipping permit.

Arizona

Oregon Christmas tree shipping permit required. 

California
  • County of origin and species of Christmas tree (Pseudotsuga menziesii, Abies grandis, etc.) must appear on shipping documents. Mail-order Christmas trees shipped to customers in California, via US Mail, UPS, Federal Express, etc., must have the county of origin and species of Christmas tree clearly marked on the outside of each shipping carton. The best location for the county of origin is on the shipping label or adjacent to the label.
  • All shipments that include pine species destined for California must be accompanied by a European pine shoot moth (EPSM) certificate. These certificates are only available for growing grounds that have been trapped during the 2013 trapping season. Contact your area horticulturist for additional information. Only certificates dated 6/1/13 to 5/31/14 are valid and may be obtained for eligible growing locations by calling the department horticulturist for your area at 503-986-4644.
  • Shipments of EPSM uncertified pine Christmas trees may be shipped through California to other states provided the name and complete address of the consignee are present on the invoice, bill of sale,or bill of lading and the Christmas trees are shipped in a closed van (open trucks or trailers will not be allowed to pass through California if the shipment includes uncertified pine). Note: Scotch pine, red pine, and Austrian pine Christmas trees must also be accompanied by a cereal leaf beetle certificate.
  • Cereal leaf beetle certification is required for Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), red pine (Pinus resinosa), and Austrian pine (Pinus nigra). Any of these trees originating in infested Oregon counties (Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Washington, and Yamhill) are prohibited from shipment into California unless they are treated and certified before shipment. Regulated articles coming from uninfested counties must be certified by the ODA as to origin before shipping. Regulated pine species originating from infested counties may be shipped through California to other states when accompanied by a "Cereal Leaf Beetle Statement of Transit Compliance Agreement." Requests for certification should be directed to the ODA's Plant Division, 503-986-4644.
  • Pine boughs in wreaths are exempt.

Delaware
Oregon Christmas tree shipping permit is required.
 
Florida
Signed European Brown Garden Snail Compliance Agreement (pdf, 84kB) with the ODA. The deadline for signing and returning the compliance agreement to the Department of Agriculture is October 15, 2013. In addition, a European brown garden snail certificate is required.
 
Hawaii
  • Containers must be free from soil and debris and care must be taken to prevent contamination of Christmas trees and containers with soil during storage and loading procedures.
  • Trees shipped to Hawaii must be shaken to qualify for certification. An ODA Shaking Compliance Agreement (pdf, 56kB) is required.  Shaking options are:                    
  • A) Each individual unbound tree shall be lifted or raised not less than 18-inches above ground level with the butt of the tree struck onto a solid surface with sufficient force to dislodge any “hitch-hiking” insects and other contaminants, such as arachnids, gastropods, amphibians, etc. The tree shall be shaken after each strike using a minimum of three or more strikes, and/or the procedure shall continue until most of the dead needle fall is eliminated.                                                                                                    B) 100 percent of the trees in the consignment may receive mechanical shaking (motor or PTO driven shaking unit). Each unbound tree shall be mechanically shaken for a period of time sufficient to dislodge any “hitch-hiking” insects and other contaminants, and/or until most of the dead needle fall is eliminated. If no live yellowjacket (Vespula spp.), snails and slugs were found during examination, the entire lot of trees can be allowed for shipment to Hawaii and be certified as being “apparently free of live yellowjacket (Vespula spp.), snails and slugs”; or if one or more live yellowjacket (Vespula spp.), snails, or slugs were found during examination, the entire lot of trees shall be considered “infested” and shall not be certified for shipment to Hawaii under this protocol.                                                                                                                                          
  • Each containerized shipment of trees shall be accompanied by a valid phytosanitary certificate that has been issued at the point of origin by an agriculture official from the participating domestic regulatory agency. The certificate shall be conspicuously affixed or located on the inside door panel of the container and shall contain the following added declarations:
    A) 100 percent of the trees have been mechanically or manually shaken;
    B) The trees have been grown and originate from an area free of gypsy moth and sudden oak death; and
    C) The shipment is apparently free of yellowjackets (Vespula spp.), snails, slugs, and other detrimental pests.
  • Port of Entry Inspection Procedures: Any and all containers will be inspected at the port of Oahu by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDA). If no certificate is provided at the inspection, the HDA has the authority to reject the shipment, submit it for treatment at the owners’ expense, or recondition the shipment by 100 percent mechanical shaking, also at owners’ expense. The shipment may be refused entry if the owner does not wish to comply with treatment or reconditioning of trees.

Guam and other Pacific Trust Islands
Same requirements as Mexico. Contact your ODA inpector for more details as import permit may be needed.

 
North Carolina
Signed European Brown Garden Snail Compliance Agreement (pdf, 84kB) with the ODA. The deadline for signing and returning the compliance agreement to the Department of Agriculture is October 15, 2013. A European brown garden snail certificate is required. In addition, pre-notification is required. Notification can be forwarded via fax to 919-773-1041, Attn.: Dan Wall, or e-mail Dan.Wall@ncagr.gov

Oregon
The Oregon Christmas tree law requires that a shipping permit accompany each shipment of Oregon grown Christmas trees. Living “balled and burlapped,” potted, or containerized trees are regulated as nursery stock and require a nursery license.
 
Puerto Rico
Oregon state phytosanitary certificate is required. Additional declaration: The Christmas trees in this consignment are free from pine shoot beetle, Tomicus piniperda. All shipments are inspected on arrival. If any actionable pests are found, the trees will be fumigated, rejected, or destroyed at the option of the exporter. To avoid the possibility of rejection, it would be advisable to process the trees with a mechanical shaker.
 

Virginia
Signed European Brown Garden Snail Compliance Agreement (pdf, 84kB) with the ODA. The deadline for signing and returning the compliance agreement to the Department of Agriculture is October 15, 2013. In addition, a European brown garden snail certificate is required.

 
Shipping trees to foreign countries
Aruba
No known requirements, but certificates can be issued.
 
Canada
Canadian customs invoice required. Shipments must be accompanied by documents verifying their origin. From all counties in Oregon except Curry County, true fir (Abies spp), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Christmas trees are unrestricted between November 1 and January 31. Between February 01 and October 31 an Import Permit and Phytosanitary Certificate are required. For fresh Pine wreaths, the state of origin must be specified.
 
Costa Rica
Federal phytosanitary certificate and import permit are required. Trees and containers must be free of soil. Do not certify unless an import permit is presented.
 
El Salvador
Federal phytosanitary certificate and import permit required. Trees and containers must be free of soil.
 
Guatemala
Federal phytosanitary certificate and import permit required. Trees and containers must be free of soil.

Hong Kong
Federal phytosanitary certificate and import permit are required. Trees and containers must be free of soil.

Japan
Federal phytosanitary certificate is required. Trees and containers must be free of soil. Shipments infested with pests on arrival may be fumigated, refused entry or destroyed.

Korea
Federal phytosanitary certificate is required. Pine prohibited. Douglas fir is prohibited from Curry county. Trees and containers must be free of soil. Additional declaration, “This shipment was inspected and found free of Phytophthora ramorum.” The county and state of origin must be noted on the phytosanitary certificate.

Mexico
A phytosanitary certificate issued by the ODA is required for all Christmas trees shipped to Mexico. Mexico’s shipping regulations do not require you to obtain an import permit in order to ship Pseudotsuga menziesii, Abies spp., or some species of Pinus, including Pinus nigra (Austrian pine) and P. sylvestris (Scotch pine). All other Christmas trees, including 25 species of Pinus (ones that are carriers of pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), are prohibited and require an import permit.

Exporters should provide their ODA Inspectors with a list of fields to be inspected well in advance of shipping. Inspectors will determine which fields are eligible for certification based on results of inspections for quarantine and non-quarantine pests. The tolerance level for non-quarantine pests is generally an infestation rate of two percent or less of the trees in the field.

If you plan to ship Christmas trees to Mexico this year, you will need to sign a compliance agreement ensuring the trees you are shipping meet Mexico’s shaking and treatment requirements. If you have not already received a compliance agreement, you can obtain one by contacting the ODA at 503-986-4644. Compliance agreements should be returned to the ODA as soon as possible. The following conditions must be met:

  • Christmas trees intended for export to Mexico must have a pest control program. A pesticide treatment is required 3 to 6 weeks prior to harvest using one of the following insecticides in accordance with doses recommended on the label:
Esfenvalerate (8.4% active ingredient)
         - Dupont Asana XL, EPA Reg. No. 352-515
         - S-FenvaloStar (LG International), EPA Reg. No. 71532-21-73006

Permethrin (36.8% active ingredient) 
         United Phosphorus/Perm-up 3.2EC supplemental label (EPA Reg. No.70506-9).  This product can be used on Christmas trees under this supplemental label (note – conifers are not listed under ornamentals on the supplemental label).

Bifenthrin (7.9% active ingredient) 
         No products meet both Mexico a.i. and Christmas tree registration requirements.

 Information about the sales, use or distribution of pesticide products in Oregon may be found at the Oregon Department of Agriculture's (ODA) Pesticide Division website (http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/Pest/).

  • Christmas trees shipped to Mexico must be free (zero tolerance) of the following quarantined pests: 
Insects:
  • Rhyacionia buoliana (European pine shoot moth)
  • Cylindrocopturus furnissi (Douglas-fir twig weevil)
  • Pissodes stobi (White pine weevil)
  • Contarinia constricta (Douglas-fir needle midge)
  • Choristoneura occidentalis (Western spruce budworm)
  • Choristoneura fumiferana (Spruce budworm)
  • Diprion similis (Pine sawfly)
  • Vespula germanica (European wasp)
  • Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth)
  • Paradiplosis tumifex (Balsam gall midge)
  • Orgyia pseudotsugata (Douglas-fir tussock moth)
  • Tomicus piniperda (Pine shoot beetle)
Mites:
  • Nalepella ednae (Eriophyid mite)
  • Epitrimerus pseudotsugae (Eriophyid mite)
 
Disease:
  • Cronartium quercum Var. Fusiform (Pine stem rust)
  • Diaporthe lokoyae (Phomopsis canker)
  • Rhabdocline pseudotsugae (Rhabdocline needle cast)
  • Lophodermium seditiosum (Lophodermium needle cast)
  • Grovesiella abieticola (Grovesiella canker)
  • Cronartium ribicola (White pine blister rust)
  • Rhabdocline weirii (Rhabocline needle cast)
  • Phytophthora ramorum (Ramorum blight)
  • Phomopsis lokoyae (Phomopsis canker)
  • The trees must be free of dead branches, twigs, and yellow or red needles caused by pests or diseases.
  • The trees must be mechanically shaken for at least 15 seconds at a minimum of 700 revolutions per minute before transport. An ODA Shaking Compliance Agreement (pdf, 56kB) is required. 
  • The trees must be without roots and soil and not painted.
  • Trees must enter at specific points in Mexico and 'point of entry' must be listed on the phytosanitary certificate: Points of entry include Acapulco, Gro., Agua prieta, Son., Altamira, Tam., Cd. Hidalgo, Chia., Cd. Juarez, Chih., Cd. M. Aleman, Tam., Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, Coatzacoalcos, Ver., Columbia, NL, Ensenada, BC, Lazaro Cardenas, Mich., Manzanillo, Col., Matamoros, Tam., Mazatlan, Sin., Merida (Progresso, Yuc., Mexicali, BC, Mexico City, DF, Nuevo Laredo, Tam., Nogales, Son., Ojinaga, Chih., Piedras Negras, Coah., Reynosa, Tam., Salina Cruz, Oxa., San Luis. R. c., Son., Subtenente Lopez, QRoo, Tampico, Tam., Tecate, BC, Tijuana, BC, Topolobampo, Sin. and Veracruz, Ver.
 
Palau
Federal phytosanitary certificate and import permit required. Trees and containers must be free of soil.

Panama
Import permit and federal phytosanitary certificate are required. For Abies spp. an extensive additional declaration is required. The commodity must be free of soil and should be packed only with nylon thread. Packaging material must not be made of plant material.

Singapore
Neither phytosanitary certificateor import permit is required. A phytosanitary certificate can be provided as a courtesy.

Taiwan

Trees ands cut branches of Abies sp. and Pseudotsuga sp. from Oregon are prohibited, and require an import permit and a phytosanitary certification. Pines allowed with an inspection and phytosanitary certification.


The Philippines
Federal phytosanitary certificate and import permit required. Trees and containers must be free of soil.
 
All other foreign countries:
  • Phytosanitary certificate required.
  • The foreign importer (buyer) should obtain a plant import permit from the ministry or department of agriculture of the importing country. A translated copy of the import permit should also be provided if not written in english.
  • Christmas tree growers may wish to contact the importing country’s nearest consulate office in the United States for agricultural inspection and customs requirements.
For a specific country’s shipping requirements, contact the ODA, Salem, 503-986-4644, or USDA-APHIS, Portland, 503-326-2814.

 
Holiday wreath shipping information
Shipping to other states

Most states, including Oregon, do not regulate cut flowers, cut branches and products produced from them such as wreaths, garlands, door/swags and bulk branches and boughs.  Even though wreaths and cut boughs are not regulated, most states have the authority to inspect packages containing plant products.

As the Christmas holiday season approaches for the shipping of bulk and finished Christmas greens, the following information may assist the delivery of your product to your customers in other states.  The State of California’s labeling requirements are the most restrictive, therefore if your labels comply with the California requirements, the labels meet the requirement of all other states.

For bulk shipments of greens or finished wreaths your invoice or bill of lading must include the following information:

  1. Your company’s name and address
  2. Statement of Origin such as: "Manufactured in Marion County"                         
  3. The name and address of the consignee
  4. An itemized list of the products included in the consignment.

For direct market sales, your mailing or shipping label must include:

  1. Your company’s name and address
  2. Statement of Origin
  3. Consignee’s name and address
  4. Statement of contents: such as “one Holiday wreath”.

Mailing/shipping labels that do not include this information are generally held for inspection by Agriculture officials.   The shipping carton is opened and inspected to assure compliance with pest cleanliness regulations.

Note:  Pine boughs and cones in manufactured wreaths are exempt from California’s European Pine Shoot Moth and Cereal Leaf Beetle Quarantines and will not require origin or treatment certificates to ship into California.


Shipping to foreign countries

Shipments of holiday greens to customers in foreign countries, must be accompanied by a  phytosanitary certificate.  Contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Plant Division at  (503) 986-4644 to arrange for inspection and certification.

 
Additional information
For additional information regarding shipping Christmas trees see the current the European Brown Garden Snail Compliance Agreement (pdf, 84kB) and ODA Shaking Compliance Agreement (pdf, 56kB).