Alert: Brown Fir Longhorned Beetle found in artificial
Christmas trees (January 14, 2005)
Specimens of the brown fir longhorned beetle (Callidiellum
villosulum) have been found in the real wood
trunks of artificial Christmas trees imported from
China. The USDA, APHIS recalled artificial Christmas
trees from Polytree Hong Kong Co. Ltd. which had been
sent to more than 20 retailers nationwide. The beetle
was first detected by a homeowner in Saginaw, Michigan
who notified the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Trees infected with the beetle have been found in
Michigan and Illinois.
The adult brown fir longhorned beetle is ¼
to ½ inch long and orange to reddish brown
in color. The antennae are brownish-black in color
and as long as the insect’s body. The body is
covered with long grayish hairs. Brown fir longhorned
beetle larvae are ½ inch long, yellow in color,
and would be found burrowing into the wood. Look for
holes or sawdust where adults emerged from wood products.
What to do if you find insects in imported
If you find adult insects or larvae in imported wood
products, place insects in plastic sandwich bags and
freeze until they can be turned over to agriculture
officials. It is also helpful if you can record the
product name, barcode, and the location and date of
purchase. Call the Massachusetts Plant Pest and Noxious
Weed hotline at 617-626-1779 if you suspect you have
found a brown fir longhorned beetle in an artificial
Christmas tree or other imported wood product.
Actions taken by USDA, APHIS, PPQ in response
to brown fir longhorned beetle find:
• A recall was issued for all Polytree artificial
Christmas trees with natural wood trunks from China.
• Emergency Action Notifications are to be issued
to retail companies and importers to ensure that known
infested material is moved out of commerce. The product
can be incinerated or buried in deep landfill.
• Investigations will continue of other importers
and distributors of any such trees with real wood
trunks to verify compliance with the import requirements.
• A request has been made to PPQ’s Center
for Plant Health Science and Technology to provide
a risk assessment within the next 60 days to determine
the need for an interim rule to further restrict similar
products made with real tree limbs and trunks.
Further resources on the brown fir longhorned
Wanted Brown Fir Longhorned Beetle Flyer: Pictures
and description of the beetle
here to view the pdf file.
USDA Announces Artificial Christmas Tree Recall:
Inspectors Find Asian Beetle in Some Lots
Pest Alert from North American Plant Protection Organization: Recall of Artificial Christmas Trees with Wood Trunks from China
Exotic Forest Pest Information System for North America:
Information on the Biology and Potential Impact of
The pest alert is from the Massachusetts Introduced
Pests Outreach Project, a collaborative project between
the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape
Program aimed at preventing the establishment of new
pathogens and pests in Massachusetts. Visit the project
for more information on emerging
pests or to subscribe
and unsubscribe for pest alerts.