It’s getting toward the time to take down the Christmas tree, and Mark Abrahamson with the state Agriculture Department is urging Minnesotans to properly dispose of holiday greens:

“What we’re discouraging people from doing is putting a tree out by the compost pile or in the back yard and kind of leaving it there until we get into the warmer months, when those insects could wake up and move to trees in your yard.”

Abrahamson says if your community has a pickup or dropoff program, that’s the way to go.   He says sometimes insects or other invasive species can hitchhike into Minnesota on Christmas trees and other holiday greenery from elsewhere in the country.