Packing & Shipping Christmas Trees, Overseas


Over the past month or so we have been making note of the stories coming across our line of vision regarding the shipping of Christmas trees overseas. Not every region is as blessed as ours (we must boast accordingly given that we are a Vancouver BC packing and crating company) in being rich with the natural resources that afford our residents with the pick of the litter when selecting the centerpiece of their home during the holiday season. Because most of the world is not ripe with Firs, Pines, and Balsams the shipping of Christmas trees across the globe has become a big business for both wholesale tree farms and shipping companies that include tree and plant-life in their overseas cargo.

The media has touched on these stories through the onset of the Holiday season. There are touching news stories that some US state regulatory bodies such as the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection are waving their fees for Christmas trees shipped to those in active US military service overseas. Others include outside of the box thinking from retailers in Hawaii that bring in North American trees to meet the demands of tropical residents that are looking for a sensory taste of the mainland America from which they came. Wherever the request comes from, North American tree farms and other gateway businesses are filling the demand for this holiday symbol during the season so that no home overseas and abroad is left with a Charlie Brown sized Pine.

If you are considering getting involved with wholesale shipping of Christmas tees overseas in time for next season and beyond you will want to consider the following:

1. You Must Obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate

No tree or plant may board a vessel heading for an international destination without its source providing a Phytosanitary Certificate. As an addition to the usual customs documentation that is required and contingent upon the destination, the Phytosanitary Certificate is an “across the board” requirement that attests that the import requirements are met by the receiving regulating national plant protection organization. The certificate for export is traditionally issued by the mirroring national plant protection organization from the originating country. If you’re planning on getting into the wholesale Christmas tree shipping business you need to guarantee any tree farm involved passes the test.

2. Plan Time for Quarantine

Every region has its quarantine law. Even US states, in particular Hawaii, require that Christmas trees are held in quarantine to identify stowaway pests, regardless of Phytosanitary Certification. Be sure to factor this time lag into your delivery schedule when preparing for the seasons ahead. Aim for a late November arrival so that there is a buffer allowing for time in quarantine.

3. Know the Christmas Trees that Ship Best

Knowing the best “Christmas” trees to farm and/or select when considering shipping overseas is essential to the success of the endeavor. You want to ensure your retailer and end-consumer are happy with the shipment and that the tree lasts until the end of the Holidays. Both Balsam and Fir trees are renowned for their ability to survive during, and thrive after, being shipped overseas.

4. Develop a Relationship with a Shipping Company Specializing in Shipping Plants

If you’re in this for the long run then developing a long standing relationship with a shipping company that specializes in shipping tree and plant-life overseas is essential. They will know all of the ins and outs of the process and the rules and regulations of each importing destination in addition to having the right relationships in place for efficient transport.

5. Develop a Relationship with an Industrial Packing & Crating Company

Finally, developing a long standing relationship with an industrial packing and crating company is necessary to best protect your shipment of Christmas trees. Regardless a Balsam of Fir, if the trees are not stabilized properly for the journey they will not arrive in optimal condition. If you are considering industrial packing and crating near Vancouver BC, please feel free to contact Cratex Group anytime.