By CSU Horticulture Program Associate, Linda Langelo
If you have received unsolicited seed in the mail in a package, please do not plant them and do not throw them away. Please see the links below, especially the link from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. We ask that any individuals receiving such seeds should follow the steps outlined by CDA: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agmain/news/ag-department-asking-reports-unsolicited-seeds-received-mail-0
For additional information, here is information from the USDA-APHIS: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/sa_by_date/sa-2020/sa-07/seeds-china?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term
The United States Department of Agriculture does the following:
Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) regulates the importation of plants and plant products under the authority of the Plant Protection Act. PPQ maintains its import program to safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources from the risks associated with the entry, establishment, or spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds. If you would like to read more about this, please go to the following link: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/import-information
Remember Dutch Elm Disease? Below is a link from the American Phytopathological Society: https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/fungalasco/pdlessons/Pages/DutchElm.aspx
In the 1920’s furniture makers used European Elm logs for veneer on cabinets and tables. By 1930’s the disease was uncontrollable and swept across the country killing American Elms. Dutch elm disease killed over 40 million American Elms and though it started in the 1930’s it took until 1973 to reach the west coast from the east coast.
Our first line of defense is accomplished by the Department of Agriculture who have trained specialists to inspect plant material. Anyone can however send unsolicited plant material through the mail. As individuals we can even inadvertently carry insects or disease from region to region. The best example is with firewood. Bark beetle has been transported to other regions through firewood. According to the Forest Service, to avoid this, select dead and dry firewood from forests where collection is allowed. At home, burn firewood by the end of June before any remaining beetles emerge to infest other trees.
There are many examples of similar issues that have occurred in your region. Please feel free to check with your local Extension Service about any newly emerging pests or diseases for your region. Become aware and help control the unnecessary spread of bark beetles and other plant issues.