Federal inspectors recently detected a quarantine-significant pest, the brown fir longhorned beetle, Callidiellum villosulum, in artificial Christmas trees with wooden trunks imported from China. The infested wood product, detected by a homeowner in Saginaw, Mich., was referred to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and traced back to the store where it was purchased. Further investigation by the Animal and Plant Health inspection Service (APHIS) found that heat treatment certificates accompanying the two shipments indicate the treatment conducted did not meet U.S. entry requirements.

In response, APHIS issued a limited recall for those artificial Christmas trees from two Bills of Lading associated with the specific product that was found to contain the infestation. Purchase order codes are being used as the basis of identifying products for recall.

Brown fir longhorned beetles may be a threat to arborvitae, cypress, juniper, cedar and possibly other landscape plants.

Sources: Phytosanitary Alert System,; and KRS Network,


With homeownership at an all-time high, more people are expanding their living areas to the outdoors. According to Kip Creel, a market research analysis with NQeury, landscaping is now the No. 1 “discretionary project” for today's new homeowner.

And Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Why People Buy Things They Don't Need, sees that figure increasing. She predicts that for the next five to 10 years consumers will shift their decorating focus from the home's interior and will spend more money enhancing their gardens, patios and lawns.

The garden truly has become the “new living room.”

In its “2005 Garden Trends Report,” Susan McCoy, president of the Garden Media Group, says that you can use the trends to make an outdoor statement this spring. For a complete list, visit

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