The Department's Division of Plant Industry is responsible for maintaining plant health by detecting and preventing the spread of plant diseases, harmful insects, and invasive plants. In support of this, our staff of 27 horticultural inspectors conducts inspections of nurseries, orchards, greenhouses, saw mills, and transportation pathways to identify threats to the plant industry in New York State.
Inspectors annually conduct over 4,500 inspections and inspect over 1.4 million plants. The inspectors are also able to certify both foreign and domestic shipments to leave the state. When needed, the inspectors have the authority under Department regulations to issue quarantine orders to prevent the movement of plant material that may be harboring disease or insect pests.
Anyone selling plants in New York State must be registered with the Division of Plant Industry as either a nursery grower or nursery dealer.
Nursery Grower Registration and Certification
The Division issues Certificates of Registration for nursery growers. When a nursery grower begins operation, the business owner completes a nursery grower application. Before a Certificate of Registration can be issued, the operation must first be inspected to ensure it is free of insect pests, diseases, or invasive species.
A horticultural inspector completes an inspection and sends the completed initial inspection report to the Albany office. The Certificate of Registration is then issued and is renewed on a two-year cycle. Subsequent inspections by a horticultural inspector take place at least once per license cycle. Operations that grow multiple crops each year or ship large numbers of plants will likely be inspected more frequently.
Nursery Dealer Registration and Certification
The Division also issues Certificates of Registration for nursery dealers, but does not require an initial inspection prior to issuing the registration certificate.