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Subject: Christmas tree in museum

Christmas tree in museum

From: Jerry Shiner <jshiner>
Date: Thursday, December 4, 2003
Karen Potje <kpotje [at] cca__qc__ca> writes

>Do we risk bringing harmful insect pests into our museum if we allow
>a real Christmas tree to be placed in a non-collections area for one
>week this year?

For obvious reasons, I don't think freezing (the easiest of the
usual non-poisonous treatments),  would work, so that leaves you
with either heat (not such a good idea if you want to keep the
needles on the tree), or anoxia.

CO2, or anoxia (nitrogen or argon) would be effective, but it takes
time. Raising the temperature to shorten the time is probably not an
option (the needles, remember?). However, while a short anoxic
treatment might not be effective against eggs or other early insect
stages, I suspect it might be effective enough to ensure that no
mobile adults survive and leave the safety of the green and
welcoming spreading branches of the little fir tree (with apologies
to Hans Christian Andersen).

If the tree comes "trussed" (as most do nowadays) it might be
worthwhile to bag it in an anoxic barrier bag, and purge it with
nitrogen for a few hours- I wouldn't worry about moisture levels at
all (add some wet paper towels). Leave it indoors for at least a
week at warm room temperature- the longer the better.

and a happy xmas season to all!

Jerry Shiner
Keepsafe Systems
Supplies and Solutions for oxygen-free and microclimate storage by
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical  America and
Microclimate Technologies International
800-683-4696  416-703-4696

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:45
                Distributed: Thursday, December 11, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-45-002
Received on Thursday, 4 December, 2003

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