Festive Fun Fact

10 December 2020

Did you know that one year not so long ago someone put a Christmas tree – with soil – in the post to New Zealand?

Auckland biosecurity staff were gobsmacked to find the small (30cm) live Christmas tree coming through the x-ray machine at the International Mail Centre. The packaged pine tree had arrived from the UK complete with a pot of soil and apparently left the quarantine inspector working the x-ray machine thinking ‘what the heck?’

Of course, that tree, and any others that might arrive this year, aren’t allowed into New Zealand - both the tree and the untreated soil could be harbouring pests or diseases that could harm our primary industries and natural environment.

Particularly concerning is a fungus currently killing fir trees used for Christmas in the United States and Britain. Biosecurity New Zealand, the forestry and horticulture industries clearly don’t want to see this tree fungus or anything like it establish here.

Image: The little 30cm Christmas tree as it arrived in the post (left) and unwrapped (right).