Make a Family Tradition with Us
There is a place, a sanctuary, in the hills of Eastern Pennsylvania, where spruce, exotics, fir, and their hybrid cousins peacefully co-exist without governance. It's called Beck's Christmas Trees.
Types of Christmas Trees
* We offer free baling and tree drilling.
* Saws are provided to cut your own Christmas tree.
* Wreaths and garland are available in our barn, "Christmas Junction".
*We also offer a selection of ornaments and railroad themed gifts.
*We encourage large tailgating parties to call ahead and make arrangements for special parking.
Notice: spotted lantern fly info
Local grower: Spotted lantern fly no threat to Christmas trees | Opinion
Updated Oct 29; Posted Oct 29
(AP file photo)
By David Beck
The Express-Times's recent unwarranted front-page attack on the real Christmas tree industry ("'Tis the fright before Christmas: Invasive bug lurking in the tree", Oct. 22) gives new meaning to the term "'journalistic integrity." In the world of reality, the spotted lantern fly is not a threat to the real Christmas tree industry as The Express-Times fabricates it to be.
Pennsylvania is the fourth largest Christmas tree-producing state in the United States. I would expect it to be on top of the spotted lantern fly and it's possible impact on the industry, and it was.
Last March a representative from the state Department of Agriculture spoke on this subject at a Regional Extension Service meeting I attended. The short but accurate message was that the spotted lantern fly was not going to be a problem for Christmas tree growers.
This information was substantiated by my subsequent field experiences. Since planting began back in March I have been in my fields on a daily basis, performing the many functions required in growing Christmas trees and never saw a spotted lantern fly. Nor have any of the other Christmas tree growers that I have spoken with.
The hysteria The Express-Time hopes to propagate with this article is based on one sketchy example of a New Jersey woman who alleges her Christmas tree had spotted lantern flt eggs on it that eventually hatched. Who made the confirmation? Was it actually spotted lantern fly eggs? Most important, how was that tree handled prior to being displayed inside?
"That tree was believed to have originated from Pennsylvania, not from a tree farm in New Jersey." This quote is one reference to another theme that permeates the article, the attempt to instigate "bad blood" between the Christmas tree industries of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The free market reigns in the Christmas tree market and it's the competition between firms, not states, that dominates the industry -- apparently a concept not within everyone's grasp.
And then we have the photo showing a Christmas tree ornament with the image of a spotted lantern fly inside it which attempts to make the false connection between the fly and the real Christmas tree. Cute. Very cute.
The article said, "it would take huge numbers of spotted lantern flies to kill large pine trees ..." The spotted lantern fly appears to have some degree of affinity for pine trees, but exactly how strong is this affinity? I know of no pine being grown in the northeast United States for Christmas trees currently. The vast majority of Christmas trees grown are fir, which literature shows having no connection with the spotted lantern fly.
But the best is saved for last: "The holiday season is two months away, but a New Jersey agricultural expert is already concerned about the potential arrival in Yuletide living rooms of a vicious, tree-killing insect known as the spotted lantern fly."
Does it also snarl and convulse like a rabid pit bull? Comic relief intended? The Express-Times fails to list exactly the number of Christmas trees that have been eradicated by this "vicious, tree-killing insect." That's because the spotted lantern flt poses no threat to the real Christmas tree.
The reader should be thankful that the president of the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association, Chris Nicholson, was interviewed. He provides valid information in an article containing scant facts. And like Nicholson said, "the spotted lantern fly is a non-issue."