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Christmas Tree Poison
News Bytes 12/4/2019 33 Comments

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how toxic are your branches? Christmas trees arriving by ship to the U.S. territory of Guam are getting a not-so-special enhancement: Doses of poisonous gas to kill any stowaway invasive species.

The climate on Guam is that of a tropical rainforest. Many types of evergreen trees don’t thrive there. But each year, thousands of fresh-cut pine trees find their way to the island of Guam. The trees bring joy and cheer and too often . . . bugs.

This year, the Guam Customs and Quarantine BioSecurity Task Force is filling containers of imported Christmas trees with odorless, colorless, methyl bromide gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes methyl bromide as a toxic fumigant, a chemical that produces fumes. The gas helps control a wide range of agriculture and shipping pests—including fungi, weeds, insects, roundworms, and rodents.

Customs agents in Guam have already treated six shipping containers, each containing more than 2,500 imported trees, wreaths, and garlands. They expect to treat another seven containers in coming weeks, officials say.

Agents will release containers after a thorough inspection to ensure the treatment has done its job.

The Guam Invasive Species Council approved the Department of Agriculture’s fumigation policy in 2016. The measure sought to prevent unwanted pests from impacting Guam’s agriculture, natural resources, or the homes of Christmas celebrants.

(Mason Davis helps his family find a Christmas tree at Worthey Tree Farm in Amory, Mississippi, November 26, 2019. Adam Robison/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment!

I like the first sentence with the Christmas tree song but changed to ' O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how toxic are your branches?'

Yikes! I would not like

Yikes! I would not like having bugs in my Christmas tree at all, but the chemicals they are spraying to get rid of the bugs sound risky. I hope this turns out ok.

Are the chemicals going to

Are the chemicals going to leave after a while?

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how toxic are your branches?

That's funny. O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how toxic are your branches? It made me laugh!!
Ok. I had bugs in my Christmas tree ONCE!! There were stink bugs in it. : E I hope this is not harmful to people!
Question: What do you prefer? Fake Christmas trees or real ones?
I like real ones.

I like both

i like real ones because they smell nice and also don't like them cause they shed a lot.

we get stink bugs a lot in

we get stink bugs a lot in our house.

7th

Stink Bugs came from Egypt.

@ Issac T

Well, I wish they'd go back were they came from!!
#IDONOTLIKESTINKBUGS!!!!

@ Lily

Yes. I agree

@ Mirlea

Christmas tree

How many of you got your tree the 2nd week of November?
We did lol!

I had a Cosmic Crisp apple

I had a Cosmic Crisp apple yesterday!

I had a Cosmic Crisp apple

I had a Cosmic Crisp apple yesterday!

@ Beth H

Really!!!!! Was it good?

Yeah pretty good! They are

Yeah pretty good! They are sweet and sour! And they have a shelf life of one year!

@Beth H

Wow.

@NA

We have a fake tree and we put it up the Friday after Thanksgiving.

2 things

1, i have never liked the idea of chemicals. it just makes me worried. however, i do like that they are de-bugging the trees. 2, now i want to try the cosmic crisps

I know a friend that had

I know a friend that had spiders hatch in her tree. That's why we always get a fake one.

@ Beth G

Oh. Ok. Have you ever had a real tree?
I have never had a fake one.

@ Viven W

Ewwww! That must have been gross!!!!!!!

Janna

My family only has fake Christmas trees because real trees are to expensive, and they don't look as good. (The changed song at the beginning is funny.)

23rd

We've always had a real tree, but last year we bought this buitiful tree, and we watered it and everything. However, after a few days it started to loose its needles, and by the time it was like December 20th. We had a naked tree, and we threw it out it the yard.

25th

25th

@NA

No. Until I was 8 or 9 we had a tree that was only a foot and a half but then we got one that is seven and a half feet.

To Above

Oh

@ Issac T

That's to bad. : (

I have two fake trees. We put

I have two fake trees. We put up all of our decorations the Friday after Thanksgiving as well! I would like a real tree but the only propblem is they always die before Christmas.

@ Emilia G

oh. :( That's sad. are trees always last long after Christmas.

Spelling edit*

Our trees always last long after Christmas.

Christmas tree poison?

We have had stinkbugs in our tree before, and I'm not a huge fan of them, but poison in a Christmas tree? That sounds a little dangerous.

@ Nadia

No, but my grandparents always cut their own

@ Viven W

Oh. That's nice. : )

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