Great Falls, Mont.- With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at U.S. ports of entry are busy making sure that imported Christmas trees, branches, or wreaths are free from insects and pests that could harm trees in America's national forests and neighborhood backyards.
Pine species of Christmas trees, branches, or wreaths imported from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba into Idaho or Montana require certification from the grower that the tree was grown in an area of Canada where gypsy moth and pine shoot beetle are not known to occur. Species of fir, spruce, and Douglas fir only require certification the tree was grown in an area where gypsy moth is not known to occur.
Without the required certification holiday trees, branches, or wreaths may be prohibited and travelers would be required to return their tree or cuttings back to Canada.
Travelers may also bring holly or mistletoe cuttings that were grown in Canada as long as the cuttings do not have any berries.
All holiday trees, branches, wreaths, or cuttings may be inspected at the port of entry. Any tree or cutting that is found to be harboring harmful insects must be returned to Canada.
CBP encourages anyone wondering if they may import their Christmas tree to speak with a CBP agriculture specialist at (208) 267-5309 (Porthill, Idaho), (208) 267-3966 (Eastport, Idaho), (406) 889-3737 (Roosville, Mont.), (406) 335-2282 (Sweetgrass, Mont.), or (406) 895-2620 (Raymond, Mont.) for details. Importations of Christmas trees grown outside of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba are subject to additional regulations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.