If you bought your Christmas tree from a big box store like Walmart and Home Depot, it could be infested with an invasive pest. Oregon produces more Christmas trees than any other state, but some big retailers import their trees from other states. The Oregon Department of Agriculture found an insect called the elongate hemlock scale on out-of-state trees headed to big chain stores. They ordered the infested trees destroyed but some may have made their way to stores with bugs hiding in the branches. The bug could attack true firs, spruces, Douglas fir trees and other conifer species native to Oregon. If you bought your tree at a big box store, you’re asked to inspect it carefully. The elongate hemlock is tiny (0.06 inches), brown (with a yellow or orange hue) and feeds on the underside of needles, leaving a brown waxy layer. If you suspect a bug email the department, cut up the tree and dispose of it inside plastic bags in a sealed garbage can. Do not leave it in your backyard.
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