Nursery and greenhouse growers in New York State are no strangers to regulations, especially regarding use of pesticides and fertilizers. Now, they have a new regulation to learn and comply with – Regulation 6 NYCRR Part 575 – Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species.

Illustration by palau83/istock 

The new regulation was prompted by legislation that began at the federal level in the USDA. The intent is to control spread of invasive species. Under the authority of 7 CFR 360 (Noxious Weed Regulations), the USDA requires permits for the importation and or interstate movement of Federal noxious weeds (FNWs) – those that are aquatic and wetland, parasitic and terrestrial.

States were given opportunity to accept or reject several of the listed species depending on unique climate, resource, and or crop concerns. New York State is currently rejecting the specific species that have been identified through the Invasive Species Council’s preliminary list of species of concern, but has adopted its own list of invasive species.

“Part 575 Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species is a regulation intended to reduce the introduction of new invasive species and minimize the spread of existing populations,” said Christopher Logue, Director, Division of Plant Industry, at Department of Agriculture and Markets.

The regulation is a joint effort between the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). Under this regulation specific plants are now prohibited or restricted in New York State.

These regulations were adopted on July 28, 2014, published in the state register on September 10, 2014, and officially went into effect March 10, 2015.

Nitty-Gritty Details

The law includes guidelines for invasive species that range from fish to algae and cyanobacteria, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, fungi, and plants. The section of the regulation most critical to nursery and greenhouse producers specifies prohibited and regulated plant species.

Plant species identified as prohibited may no longer be propagated, sold or transported in New York State. In other words, this means the possession with intent to sell, importation, purchase, transport, introduction or propagation of identified plant species is banned. A total of 69 plant species are included on this list.

It is recommended that growers familiarize themselves with the list of prohibited plant species and adjust intended inventory purchases accordingly. For example, “the industry should be aware that Japanese barberry appears on the prohibited plant list,” he said.

In recognition of the fact that many New York businesses have significant stock of barberry on hand the regulation allows barberry to be sold until March 10, 2016. Though the full list includes 69 plant species, the plants most likely of concern to green industry professionals are the following:

  • Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore maple)
  • Berberis thundbergii (Japanese barberry – one-year grace period starting March, 2015)
  • Eleagnus umbellate (Autumn olive)
  • Iris pseudacorus (Yellow iris)
  • Lonicera japonica and tatarica (Japanese honeysuckle and Tartarian honeysuckle)
  • Lythrum salicaria (Purple loosestrife)
  • Phellodendron amurense (Amur cork tree)
  • Phyllostachys aurea (Golden bamboo)
  • Phyllostachys aureosulcata (Yellow groove bamboo)
  • Rosa multiflora (Multiflora rose)
  • Vitex rotundifolia (Beach vitex)

A full list of prohibited plants can be found in PDF form at the following link: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/PI/invasive_species_plant_list.pdf.

Cornell University has also been provactive in compiling its own list of alternative plants for nursery and greenhouse producers to consider. The recommendations can be found at the Cornell University Integrated Pest Management website http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/nursery_ghouse/invasive_plants.asp.

In addition to the plants that may no longer be propagated, sold or transported, there are also six plants that are now classified as regulated plant species. Regulated plants may be propagated, sold and transported in New York State; however, these plants must have a label in 14-point font that states “Invasive Species-Harmful to the Environment.”

“The label should also indicate what noninvasive plants could be used in place of the regulated plant and some tips for managing the regulated plant so it does not escape into the environment,” Logue added.

Approval of the label from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is required. Growers looking for examples of approved label formats can find samples at http://goo.gl/jAHKY8. The New York State Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc. (http://NYSNLA.org) has also received approval on a sample label that is available to its members.

Regulated Plant List

  • Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
  • Clematis terniflora (Japanese virgin’s bower)
  • Euonymus alatus (Burning bush)
  • Euonymus fortune (Winter creeper)
  • Miscanthus sinensis (Chinese silver grass)
  • Robinia pseudoacacia (Black locust)

Landscape professionals who purchase regulated plant material from your nursery or greenhouse are also subject to the regulation. When a regulated plant species is planted on a customer’s site, the homeowner or property manager must be given a written notification that includes the common and scientific name of the regulated plant(s). The statement must include “Invasive Species-Harmful to the Environment” in at least 14-point bold type. The notice shall offer alternative noninvasive species as well as instructions to care for the plant so as to prevent its spread by being introduced into a “free-living” state.

NYSDAM will inspect registered growers and dealers of plant material in accordance to the existing law for compliance with these regulations. If/when violations are found, they will be referred to the NYSDEC for the assessment of penalties.

Learn More

“Nurseries and greenhouses should familiarize themselves with the regulations in particular the tagging requirements, which apply to all sales (retail or wholesale) of the regulated species in New York State,” Logue said.

Exemptions from the regulation are listed in detail within the full regulation, which is posted at http://goo.gl/E4xXlM.

The NYSDAM website (http://goo.gl/T94HSd) has been updated with new information on Part 575 as it relates to the horticulture industry.

“Also, if an industry professional has questions they should contact either the division of plant industry in Albany or their local NYSDAM horticulture inspector,” he advised.

Resources, including a color PDF guidebook with pictures of both prohibited and regulated plants, is available at http://goo.gl/483pEL.