Christmas Tree Pests And Weeds
Pine and fir trees, grown purposely for use as Christmas trees, are vulnerable to a wide variety of pests, weeds and diseases. Many of the conifer species cultivated face infestations and death from such pests as the Balsam woolly adelgid and other adelgids. Aphids are another common insect pest. Christmas trees are also vulnerable to fungal pathogens and their resultant illnesses such as root rot, and, in the U.S. state of California, sudden oak death. Douglas-fir trees in particular are vulnerable to infections from plant pathogens such as R. pseudotsugae.
Larger pests also pose a threat to Christmas tree plantations and harvests. Mammals such as deer, gophers and ground squirrels are threats to Christmas tree crops because of the damage they cause to roots and buds. Certain species of birds are also considered pests, among these is the Pine Grosbeak which feeds on conifer buds. Herbaceous weeds, as well as woody plants, also compete with Christmas tree crops for water and nutrients and thus must be controlled by farmers. There are several methods of control, including mowing, chemical herbicide use, and tilling.
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