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"Mailing" plants

>From: Dave Gomberg <gomberg at wcf_com>

 Here's what Neil Frank and I
>have learned over the past 2-3 years (more than you wanted to know):

Dave: Since, you mentioned my name, I thought I would mention what I
actually do:

>1.  Clean plants carefully free of all dead material before shipping.
>Otherwise, it rots and turns slimy and is harder than heck to get rid of
>later when the plant is more fragile.

I just take the plants out of my tanks. there is no dead material to remove

>2.  Pack plants in only a tiny bit of water, in a plastic bag which is
>"flattened".   Imagine placing a soaking wet plant in a plastic bag,
>placing same flat on a table, then placing a full daily newspaper gently on
>same to drive out air.  Now remove the paper and pack the bag into a carton.

Only add a few mL of tank water into the bag with the wet plant. Don't
flatten the bag , just place the open bag in shipping box inside a large
plastic bag (e.g. trash bag). Only flatten the bags when doing a large
shippment that requires maximizing available space. Otherwise, allow the
bags to loosely fill the space. Rubber band or even tape close the outer
trash bag to keep from wetting the cardboard box -- In case the shipper can
read the words "TOP OF BOX"  .

>3.  Fill the inner carton pretty full of bags.  So if you are only sending
>one small bag, use a very small inner carton.

This is only a problem if the shipper will charge according to dimensional
wt-- see fedEx below.

>4.  Depends on service used:
>   a.  USPS  Use priority mail (2-5 days).  Ship on Monday.  Pack inner
>carton in an outer carton that provides some insulation inbetween.  Use
>peanuts for packing material (insulation).  Bubble wrap will also do.
>Anything that is light and free.

I do not use the above method. In freezing weather, I have used styrofoam
fish boxes. Other times, I use a single heavy cardboard box. I have never
used extra insulation, but it can't hurt.
>   b.  FedEx  Use two-day air.  Ship on Monday or Tuesday.   Ship the inner
>carton without an outer carton because FedEx charges dimensional weight
>(means you pay for at least 1.3# for each gallon of volume, regardless of
>weight if weight is less)  If climate is adverse (mid-Summer or cold of
>winter or bad storm at one end or the other) consider one day service.

I like the 2-day service. Plants are resilient. They can be in bags for
several days. I try not to ship during extreme temps. 

>Check the rates.

--Neil F.