Cinnamomum verum - importing from USA or abroad?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by choufleur, Jan 15, 2024.

  1. choufleur

    choufleur New Member

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    Hello!

    I’ve been looking for many years for a cinnamon tree. I was hoping to find a mature one because I will be growing it almost entirely indoors. I haven’t found any suppliers or nurseries, including Phoenix perennials, willing/able to order an older tree (trunk around 2” thick), as they say they will only import seedlings or young trees up to 5gal following BC regulation. 5gal cinnamon is still quite small and delicate with few leaves.

    However, I’ve been tempted to buy a larger 15-20gal tree elsewhere, store and root prune into a smaller 5gal before shipping/driving across like I would a bonsai, or ship bare root.

    Does anyone have recent experience with this? I can’t find specific info on importing permits for Cinnamomum verum to BC. What would be the route you would recommend for getting a larger tree here?
    Thank you
     
  2. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    Importing from anywhere into Canada is difficult and can be costly as Canadian requirements are very strict and require a phytosanitary certificate for live plants. This "phyto" certificate must be issued by the shipper (I found most US plant suppliers are unwilling to do the paperwork unless you are willing to pay several hundred dollars as an incentive). The plant must be inspected prior to shipping and the certificate signed off by an agent of the USDA and must accompany the plant (it can take up to 30 days to get the certificate). Once it reaches Canadian soil the plant will once again be inspected and the paperwork checked. If there is any issue with the paperwork, the plant or the soil, it will be destroyed (this is why most plants are shipped bare root).

    I did try looking on AIRS - automated import reference system - but Cinnamomum verum does not seem to fall within any of the categories listed so I could go no further than step 5.
    https://airs-sari.inspection.gc.ca/airs_external/english/decisions-eng.aspx

    There is however a work around if you can find a young (read "small") tree. Canada allows house plants to cross the border as long as they are accompanied by you (no phyto required). If you can find a supplier willing to ship to a US address (Point Roberts has several shipping offices where you can get a PO box) then you can drive down, pick it up and cross LEGALLY into Canada with your "house plant" (this is why to don't want to bring anything too big across). But if border patrol has any hesitations the plant will not be permitted and will again be destroyed.

    If you do not wish to pursue this avenue, I did find a Canadian vendor but they do not have any stock at this time. You may want to reach out to them - they only list shipping rates within Ontario but do mention cross Canada shipping as well .
    https://tropicofcanada.ca/plant-varieties/cinnamon/

    Hope this helps.
     
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  3. choufleur

    choufleur New Member

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    Thank you @pmurphy , I have imported trees (the bonsai style method) from US and Asia using a phyto before, and wouldn’t mind paying but wasn’t sure if there was an additional method I could use to increase the chance of successfully importing. It was very hit or miss with the tree’s arrival state depending on how long it was stored and repackaged after inspection. I have a US address I can ship to and bring it over (I’ve only done it with large trees from Canada-> US before which was much faster and easier than I expected the other way around).

    I did contact tropicofcanada and several other Canadian suppliers but they are also unwilling to ship larger than 5gal and will not bare root this tree for shipping to BC so I would be in about the same situation, unless I drive to pick it up. I hoped Phoenix perennials would use their partnership with tropicofcanada to work around as they do with fruit trees in dormancy, however they won’t with cinnamon. The suppliers in Indonesia I talked to will also only sell Cinnamomum rooted in soil maximum of 5gal, and will not root prune before sending, requiring importing permits along with phyto for this type of tree.

    It looks like the driving across method from WA will be my best option right now.
     
  4. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor 10 Years

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    FYI, Phoenix Perennials uses (or did use) Cistus Nursery in Portland but I do not see Cinnamomum on their list.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    You may want to make inquiries with local plant brokers, the people who source plants for distribution to retailers. Burnaby Lake Greenhouses comes to mind. They occasionally source plants that are out of the ordinary.
     
  6. choufleur

    choufleur New Member

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    Thank you! I haven’t tried asking them yet
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    They're probably involved in introducing Cinnamomum kotoense to the retail market some years ago. Perhaps that species would be an acceptable substitute for what you're looking for.
     

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