College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

Ask Mr. Christmas Tree

If you’re looking for Gary Chastagner around this time of year, you would do well to put out an all-points bulletin to Wherever Christmas Trees Are Sold. He’s perused trees up and down the West Coast, as well as in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, and Texas. Just look for the cheerful fellow taking clippings, bending needles, and chatting up the owners about things like moisture content and needle retention.

“My family knows that if it’s Christmas time, I’m usually around looking at Christmas tree lots,” he says.chastagner

Chastagner, officially a plant pathologist with the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center, is better known as “Mr. Christmas Tree.” For more than 30 years, his pursuit of new knowledge about the trees has been so thorough that it would be called obsessive, were it not science. He has studied tree diseases, analyzed species from around the world, deconstructed tree stands, and grappled with that bane of the Christmas tree consumer, needles on the carpet. Read more.


Department of Plant Pathology, PO Box 646430, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6430, 509-335-9541, Contact Us
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