Safely Dispose of Christmas Tree if Purchased at Big Box Retailer Advises Oregon Dept. of Forestry

EDITOR’S NOTE: This may not be a problem locally – unless you went over the hill or north/south for a Christmas tree. Another good reason why it’s important to buy local.

Help Oregon’s forests out by not throwing your old Christmas tree into the woods or yard this year. If it was bought at a big box national retail chain on the West Coast it may harbor a tree-killing insect pest new to our state. The elongate hemlock scale arrived on Christmas trees shipped from North Carolina to big box stores up and down the West Coast. Oregon Department of Agriculture found the pest and ordered the infested trees destroyed, but not before some had been sold to the public.

Infested trees should be cut up and put in sealed trash bags for disposal. If not, the pest may escape into Oregon forests and harm native trees. The elongate hemlock scale feeds on the undersides of needles. It attacks not only hemlocks but true firs (Abies spp.), Douglas-fir and spruce.
Email the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Forest Health Unit at if you think you have found this pest.
See an image of this pest here:…
Read about this pest here:…/factsheets/elongate-hemlock-scale