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Shipping Across the Pond

 
Hermes Envoy
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First off, to the mods, I have no idea if this is the best forum for this question, might need to be relocated.

So I am having my friend ship me some tree saplings and sunchoke tubers from the States to Europe. I am not introducing any new species or invasive threats, just varieties I can't find over here. The oaks Im bringing over are hybrids with Holly Oak and English Oak, which are European, so i figure they should be on this side of the pond as well.

Any suggestions on how to go about packaging and shipping trees internationally? If they take long to arrive (sometimes packages take a bit longer to arrive than the speed you paid for), Im hoping they are going in to dormancy soon and won't suffer. Is it foolish to even try?
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Bad bad move in my humble opinion . The reason why people often grow sunchokes or Tapinambour as they are called here in France is that there are no pests there fore they grow well because of this . Should you accidently import some pests then you are threatening peoples livlyhood . Its bad enough that we got the colerado beatle eating potatos and having few natural enimies here in france the same happening with sunchokes would be a bad move . Lots of verieties of Sunchoke are grown here in europe why would you need to import some ? leave it to the professionals frankly .
On the subject of oaks they can already be found in europe I would suggest we dont need new pests like those threatening Ash trees and others.

David
 
Andrew Ray
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Location: Slovakia
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I (or my mother when she comes to visit from the US) often bring over seeds on international flights. The problem with the post, at least to central Europe, is that it can either be fast or terribly slow. I lost half of some kiwis I ordered from Slovakia's neighbor Czech Republic because the courier was too lazy to drive out to our village right away, so they were boxed for four or five days instead of two.

I have actually ordered once seeds internationally from the U.S., and I had no problem with that, as well the company selling the seeds said they often ship to EU countries without problem. But, seeds may be subject to different regulations than grown plants.

Also there is customs. I do not know the laws on importing of plants into the EU, but I suggest you check what EU regulations are. Whether customs intercepts a package is pretty hit-or-miss, but just make sure you aren't setting yourself up for some big fine if they do. I have looked up just now what seems to be the relevant regulation:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CONSLEG:2000L0029:20090303:EN:HTML
See Annex III, Part A:

PLANTS, PLANT PRODUCTS AND OTHER OBJECTS THE INTRODUCTION OF WHICH SHALL BE PROHIBITED IN ALL MEMBER STATES

Plants of Abies Mill., Cedrus Trew, Chamaecyparis Spach, Juniperus L., Larix Mill., Picea A. Dietr., Pinus L., Pseudotsuga Carr. and Tsuga Carr., other than fruit and seeds
Plants of Castanea Mill., and Quercus L., with leaves, other than fruit and seeds
Plants of Populus L., with leaves, other than fruit and seeds

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm guessing that "Plants of Castanea Mill., and Quercus L., with leaves, other than fruit and seeds" means that if the oak seedlings don't have any leaves on them, you can import them. There is no mention that particular directive of sunchokes at all, though normal sunflowers are mentioned.

However, ANNEX V lists all species of Quercus as requiring a phytosanitary certificate. Still nothing about the sunchokes.

So, I think you'd get away with the sunchokes if customs intercepts, but they'd probably destroy the oaks. What sort of fines (if any) there might be is probably up to national governments. If you're desperate to try to get the oaks, then at least remove all the leaves, since this is apparently where whatever diseases the EU is concerned about stays. If its a lot of oaks and a financially significant investment, you might check what is involved with getting a phytosanitary certificate in the U.S. valid for imports into the EU.
 
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