relocating to California

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Hello,
My husband and I are relocating to California from Texas, and we are getting contradictory information about whether or which plants we can take with us. My understanding is that you can take houseplants that have not spent time outdoors or at least don't have any critters like fire ants in them. Does anyone have experience with the border check point and what the procedure is? I don't want to bring a bunch of plants and then have them thrown out at the border, I'd rather give them away. Thanks for your help!
until soon, Hope
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Hope, the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture has a web site about their Pest Exclusion Branch. I see links from their home page to specific pages about bringing house plants into California and about the fire ant problem.
    http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/pe /
Patty
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wrote:

I guess she thought -- any bugs on the plants cannot survive such a long journey on interstate 10 .... 8)
Probably in Texas right now there is no pending bug problems (like California Med flies, or Washington apple maggots) and the agent doesn't mind that much.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Siberian Husky) wrote:

LOL! I did follow the advice of several people here and made a tent over the plants inside the car.

That makes sense!
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Glad to hear you made it safely, glad to hear the plants did too. Let us know how things go!
Philip

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snipped-for-privacy@cs.com (Frankhartx) wrote in

They do indeed have check points:
BORDER STATION INSPECTIONS
Vidal Border StationAgricultural inspections on all private and commercial vehicles are conducted at sixteen border inspection stations located on major highways throughout the State (six at the Oregon border, five at the Nevada border, and five at the Arizona/Mexico border).
More than 33.5 million vehicles were monitored at the California border agricultural inspection stations in the 2000 calendar year, including 24.5 million automobiles, 6.5 million commercial trucks, more than 706 thousand recreational vehicles, and more than 40 thousand commercial buses. These figures represent an eight percent increase from the previous year.
There were over 70 thousand lots of prohibited plant material intercepted at the border inspection stations. These lots were infested with plant pests and/or were not properly certified for entry into California. More than 5 thousand samples of suspected pests were submitted by border station staff to the Department's Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch for identification during the year.
Serious pest finds in the Year 2000 included gypsy moth, imported fire ant, boll weevil, Mexican fruit fly, zebra mussel, pecan weevil, Japanese beetle, Oriental fruit fly, Mexican fruit fly, European corn borer, burrowing nematode, musk thistle and diffuse knapweed.
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I have driven to LA a couple of times.
I can guaran-d__n-tee you, on I-10, they have STOP Signs at the border to California! Permanent signs...looks like toll booths....but they don't want your money...just your plants...Stop signs on the highway!
We stopped, the fella asked if we had any fruits or vegetables, we looked at him funny and said, 'No!?!?!?'
He said, 'Ok' and we drove on.
About as weird as getting stopped at a border guard temporary check-point this side of El Paso coming home and being asked if everyone in the car was from the US!
Anyway, they will definately ask and they will definately throw them on a pile of potted plants on the side of the road.
That said, I've never taken plants in so I wouldn't know how to get them past the border. Maybe a phytosanitation certificate from a local grower?
John

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DEFINITELY?! The web site says if they have no pests they can go through. Maybe I should just put them inside the trunk before the border crossing and lie to the agent?!

I'm going to post to my local gardening group too and find out...
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>Maybe I should just put them inside the trunk before >the border crossing and lie to the agent?!
Oh, I wouldn't do that. A random vehicle check would then sure put a crimp in your day.
Tracey
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wrote:

Yeah, I suppose it would! Well thanks for all the ideas. I will let you know what the results are. I would like to take at least my orchids and my lucky bamboo, considering how much it cost to buy them!
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Mail the plants to someone out there and if you dont know anyone, mail them to someone who can keep them alive until they can ship them to you. Plants survive large ziplocks with a couple of wet paper towels quite well.
On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 16:13:09 -0500, "John T. Jarrett"

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Did you bring any plants with you?
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My condolences....
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NewsUser wrote:

My husband and I were traveling from Ohio to CA. in the late eighties. We were in a motor home. They ask if we had any fruit are plants. I said, no. Forgetting we did have fruit in the fridge. They searched the motor home and took grapes and oranges. Told us we were welcome to pull over to the side and eat it . Otherwise it was to be thrown on their pile. They did take it.
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If you have an address for postal mail, take and the day before you leave, clean soil away, pack'm up and ship them via 1st class mail and you'll get them ok and ready for planting.
-- "In this universe the night was falling,the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered: and along the path he once had followed, man would one day go again."
Arthur C. Clarke, The City & The Stars
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See if you can have your plants inspected by an ag agent before you leave TX. The plants need to be insect and disease free. It's not a big deal, but bringing new bugs/diseases into Calif. could be. The ag agent would probably give you a piece of paper that says your plants are clean.
Yes, the border cops in Calif. will ask you about plants. They're trying to keep bugs/diseases out of the state. It's a big deal, since California is the food basket of America.
The last time I drove into Canada from Washington state, they took away a bag of #1 non-certified potatos. They're trying to keep the potato blight out of Canada, and it's present in WA state. (That's the spud blight that caused a million Irish to starve to death, and another 1.6 million to move to America in the 1880's. Two pairs of my great-grandparents left Ireland because of the pratie famine. Our family who stayed behind all died of starvation.)
Take the plant inspection stuff seriously, because it *is* serious. Don't import anything with bugs or disease. Call your state ag dept. and ask for an inspection or ask them what procedure they recommend. You may be able to ask the border guys in Calif. for an inspection.
Jan
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On Thu, 24 Jul 2003 03:33:46 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) had a brain fart and confessed:

Just take the long way thru Mexico, they check those borders lol ......
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snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) wrote in wrote:

Yes, that's why I'm posting to various gardening groups asking advice. Sorry if I appear neurotic, I really don't want to have my plants tossed in the garbage when I reach California! I'm leaning towards giving them ALL away at this point!
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You're not appearing at all neurotic! You come across as a decent person who (a) doesn't want to bring pests into a State which, as others have pointed out, is the fruit/veg basket for the whole country, as well as abroad. And (b) doesn't want to get in trouble with the Ag border e xaminers.
Seems to me that your bottom line should be to ascertain if the plants HAVE pests or not. If they're pest-free, obtain an attestation to that effect from a responsible Texas authority. As you mention that some of them are valuable, it might be worth the trouble.
BTW - What part of Calif are you moving to? You realize that the macro- and micro-climates vary WIDELY! Calif. is like a country unto itself, both in terms of GNP, and in terms of great climatic and geographic variation.
--
Persephone

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snipped-for-privacy@Underworld.com wrote in

Also, I don't want my plants to be tossed in a garbage bin!

We are moving to Fresno, and the climate there is fairly similar to that in Austin, maybe a little bit hotter. These plants are going to be inside for the most part.
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