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Rotary to collect Christmas trees

Invasive bugs found in evergreens

State officials are cautioning consumers to burn wreaths and other evergreen decorations, or bag them for disposal at landfills.

Inspectors with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) found invasive insects on many such items sold at large chain stores in Wisconsin this holiday season.

Rotary offers safe disposal
Waupaca Rotary Club will pick up Christmas trees citywide, starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.

Waupaca city residents are encouraged to put their natural Christmas trees on the curb by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Rotarians will be collecting donations at the time of the pickup for the trees. All donations will be used for local and worldwide Rotary projects.

Trees will be collected and burned as a precaution.

Recommendations published by the DATCP apply to wreaths, boughs and natural evergreen decorations purchased at chain stores. The State Department of Agriculture did not find the invasive species in trees.

New invasive insect
Inspectors found an insect called elongate hemlock scale, or EHS on wreaths, swags and boughs, and in arrangements of evergreen boughs in hanging baskets, porch pots, mugs and sleighs.

EHS saps nutrients as it feeds on the underside of conifer needles, and threatens Wisconsin’s Christmas Tree farms, native hemlock and balsam fir forests, and ornamental conifers in yards and parks.

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