It may be hard to believe, but we are heading towards the end of the year. Winter is coming, and people are already preparing for the festive season. Some folk are making their gift lists, looking forward to hanging up their decorations and putting up their Christmas tree.

However, while not wishing to be a Scrooge, but there can be a serious side to purchasing a new tree. Especially considering a new report which says various pests and diseases may be brought into the UK through Christmas trees being imported into the country

Christmas Trees Bring In PestsMillions of pounds worth of trees bought in Britain are cut from Europe and Scandinavia annually. There are concerns numerous tree pests currently not found in the UK may arrive through non-native pine trees from abroad. Research says some Christmas trees meant for people’s homes could carry diseases, which could be potentially hazardous to people or animals.

We wouldn’t wish to cause a panic, but people should be aware Christmas trees are almost tailor-made for carrying pests. Particularly as they are invariably packed in netting, where damp tightly bound branches, with no means of drying out, may harbour pests.

Some say Christmas trees from abroad should have what is called a plant passport, while others suggest you only buy trees from the British isles. Many recommend a way to curb the spread of disease is to check the tree is marked `grown in the UK. `

However, this is a controversial issue, as there are presently no restrictions on importing trees from the European Union below the three million mark, which is how many are cut from Europe every year. It remains to be seen, just like other aspects of life, how this may be affected by Brexit.

Nobody wants to take away the magic of buying a Christmas tree. It is a great, fun tradition, but some just want people to be more aware in the run-up to the festive season

Have a happy holiday!