In Quebec the provincial agriculture ministry MAPAQ “Ministère d’Agriculture, Pêcheries et Alimentation Québec” has a Phytosanitary Information Update Network (Réseau d’avertissement phytosanitaire).
- A provincial biologist hosts a conference call every week with representatives from each of the 11 growing zones in the province during the critical period between early May and the end of June. Each representative gives an update on surging populations and infestations occurring in their area. This information is then transmitted, usually by email, within 24 hours to all growers and interested parties throughout the province.
The MAPAQ sends warnings as to which pests and other conditions could affect Christmas tree plantations, such as unusually high snow fall.
- Growers are told what to look for and see if the size of the population warrants any interventions
When a county within the province of Quebec is deemed to be under risk, the entire county is treated simultaneously.
- When possible, a natural predator or alternate food source may be introduced to a plantation and the entire county to control a pest.
- Should other techniques prove to be insufficient; growers will use chemicals, but only as a last resort.
- All products that are used are approved for use on Christmas trees by Health Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency.
The majestic beauty and natural bouquet of a real Christmas tree fills our senses and our homes. This significant tree, with its sense-tingling qualities, is brought in only once a year and helps us endure the rigors of winter
Frequent and regular scouting of plantations enables growers to detect signs and symptoms of pests before damages of an economic scale occur.
- An early treatment of limited size with alternative fertilizers, natural predators or chemical products may prevent a significant financial loss that could otherwise devastate a small business.