By Mike Louisell
Kids might not be counting down the days before Christmas yet. But for state export inspectors, November means Christmas tree season. Frank Curtin and Scott Brooks from WSDA’s Plant Services Program recently inspected a shipment of trees from Snowshoe Evergreen in Orting.
Curtin said about 2,800 trees were shipped to Mexico.
“It was pretty cool because they were using a helicopter to fly the trees to the loading area,” he said. “The trees were then mechanically shaken for about 20 seconds, a requirement for export to Mexico. Then trees are stacked, bailed and loaded into trucks.”
Washington is the fourth largest producer of Christmas trees in the U.S. Many of those trees end up in Hawaii, California, Canada, Mexico, Asia or military bases worldwide.
Christmas trees bound for export must be inspected by WSDA. Overseas customers don’t want any dangerous pests or diseases hitchhiking on our trees. Inspections begin well before the holidays approach.