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Old 12-08-2010, 01:38 AM   #1
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I have a beloved two and a half year old Japanese wisteria tree in a medium sized pot that I am deeply attached to, despite the fact that it is deciduous and spends several months each year as a sad, barren twig in a pot of dirt, devoid of the few leaves it manages to produce in the warmer months. I am looking to cross the Atlantic from the U.S. by boat somehow this spring, and will probably stay in Europe for some time once I get there. I would love to bring my potted plant. It has lived on ships before, and I have a great rig to keep it safe and secure, and keep it more or less out of the way; the question is, do customs in foreign countries allow plants to be brought on shore? How strict are they about their inspections?

This is an odd topic, but if anyone has any helpful experience, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Wynne
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:00 AM   #2
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Hello Wynne,

You are quite right many countries do not allow the importation of plants without certification from a government authority (usually a department of agriculture) You might like to talk the the relevant US government department before making a decision.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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Even in the US there are sometimes problems with bringing plants into some states. I am going to urge you to not be an eco-terrorist by trying to bring your plant into another country. Every country has a long list of problems due to the willy-nilly importation of plants. In the US our chestnut trees and magnificent elm trees are gone due to European diseases ravaging them. Kudzu from Japan is still a problem in the southern states. Water hyacinths cost communities and the Army Corps of Engineers a significant amount every year to keep waterways clear. The latest is Water Chestnuts, another introduced plant that is worse than the water hyacinths.

We have "killer bees" which have so threatened the honey bee industry that apiaries import their queen bees from outside the US. The list is a very long one, with entire species being wiped out due to the importation of alien species.

Australia and New Zealand have worse problems with introduced animals, including rabbits, cats, cane toads, and a long list of other animals.

I know, eco-terrorist is not what you are, or want to be, but the potential damage is so great that I am willing to use an inflammatory term to get your attention.

Jeanne, a knee-jerk liberal with a seriously strong conservative bent when it is our environment we're talking about.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:56 PM   #4
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Thank you everyone for encouraging me to make the sensible and responsible choice. I will have to leave my tree in the hands of a capable American caretaker, or plant it in the ground. I figured this would be the necessary course of action, but thought I'd ask in case there were some reasonable and legal way of taking it with me. Jeanne, I agree with you; invasive species are seriously a bummer, and I certainly wouldn't want to contribute the damage they've already done.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whedlesky View Post

Thank you everyone for encouraging me to make the sensible and responsible choice. I will have to leave my tree in the hands of a capable American caretaker, or plant it in the ground. I figured this would be the necessary course of action, but thought I'd ask in case there were some reasonable and legal way of taking it with me. Jeanne, I agree with you; invasive species are seriously a bummer, and I certainly wouldn't want to contribute the damage they've already done.
I love this thread. every time we move back to California we have to abandon some of my wife's favorite plants.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:15 AM   #6
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When we moved to Japan, I had to leave my beloved plants behind. I gave them to friends that I knew would take care of them. When I got to Japan, people gave me lovely plants...you bet...I couldn't bring them back to the USA. However, I found new plants and new friends. It all works. We live aboard a boat now and I have no plants at the moment.

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