What to do with holiday greens

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Angie Ambourn of the Plant Pest Detection Unit Manager of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture tell us that we should be mindful of disposing our holiday greens, including trees and garland, “Live plants could be a place where exotic or invasive insects and/or diseases can come into the state. So especially if you’re buying something that you may or may not know was grown locally.” Sometimes this can be tricky to determine.

The MDA names one of the pest they’re trying to keep out of that: Elongate Hemlock Scale. “It is a tiny little insect that you might not even really see. It’s a little hard insect with a piercing sucking mouth part, and it’ll be found on the underside of leaves. And oftentimes it can even just look like a speck of dust. And that is one that we don’t have here in Minnesota.”

If you’re looking to dispose of holiday greens, you should look for places that offers recycling in your area. Another option is burning, but Angie reminds us to follow to ordinances in our areas. But, overall, Angie asks us to, “Be the most responsible resident of the state that you can be and help us make sure that we’re not spreading invasive species.”