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NC State Extension

Fraser Fir IPM Pest Control

Pest Control Perspective


Integrated pest management (IPM) provides the best possible pest control for Fraser fir Christmas trees at the lowest cost while having the least negative impact on the environment. But it can get complicated. Just like the drawing above showing gears working together, it takes a thorough knowledge of the pest, its natural enemies, and how cultural practices and pesticide usage affects both. (And yes, that includes organic pesticides!) .

Pest control in Christmas trees is a necessity. Several pests of Fraser fir were introduced to western North Carolina from other countries and Christmas trees have little natural tolerance for them. There are also several native pests that can turn a beautiful tree into one with yellow needles that drop off, making the tree unsaleable. Deciding when to treat and with what gets complicated. That’s why this website was created — to help tie things together.

But insecticides alone can’t do the job. Without proper cultural practices, pests will continue to be a problem that no insecticide can solve. That’s because the growing environment favors pest development. That’s why the biggest gear are cultural practices. And without scouting, there is no way to know what pests need to be controlled. The choice of an insecticide is just a shot in the dark. That makes scouting the steering wheel that keeps pest control on track.

Fraser Fir IPM is Working in NC

The good news is that growers are adapting IPM and reducing pesticide use in NC Fraser fir Christmas trees. Pest management surveys of growers have documented that pesticides have been reduced by almost 75% from 2000 through 2013. As we learn more, IPM practices will continue to become more efficient and reduce pesticide use still further.

What Pesticides Are Used

The pesticides used on Christmas trees are those commonly used on food crops, in the home, and even on pets so your tree is perfectly safe to display in the home. Even organic Christmas tree growers use pesticides — those deemed organic according to the National Organic Standards as reviewed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

Fraser Fir IPM

Written By

Jill Sidebottom, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Jill SidebottomExtension Specialist (Mountain Conifer IPM) Call Dr. Jill Email Dr. Jill Forestry & Environmental Resources
NC State Extension, NC State University
Page Last Updated: 6 years ago
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