Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

Despite that most of us slowed down for the pandemic, invasive species didn’t skip a beat! In fact, some of them thrived this past year without human hands to keep them in control. With that in mind, as we re-enter the world, it is more important than ever to do our part in preventing the spread of invasive species.

Now we know that for some of you that may be asking a lot. But, for others, this may be just what you were made for! Whatever your pace there are many ways that you can help control and prevent the spread of invasives. 

This week Plant Sentry™ is going over three types of invasives we look out for and how to prevent their spread!

When it comes to invasive species there are three categories we like to focus on:

  • Invasive Plant Species
  • Invasive Pests
  • Invasive Diseases
  • Preventing each of these invasives from spreading may seem challenging, but we promise that it’s much easier than you think.

    Invasive Plant Species

    When considering new plant varieties for your garden, you may want to try something new. When doing so it is important to know your native species. 

    It can be tough to remember all of the natives for your area. Make a list before shopping at your local nursery! Doing so will make it much easier to identify the species you’ll want to steer clear of.

    When it comes to preventing the spread of invasive plants, it isn’t just what you buy that will make a difference. How you remove invasive plants is just as important!

    Many areas of the United States have volunteer organizations that focus on training and actively removing invasive species. Joining one of these organizations can help you learn how to properly remove invasives.

    These opportunities also give you the chance to engage in your community and learn something new. To find volunteer opportunities visit the USDA website:

    Invasive Pests

    The second kind of invasive that we like to focus on is invasive pests. These buggers keep the USDA APHIS team busy year-round and can cause quite the commotion when mismanaged. 

    Invasive pests tend to require a little more due diligence and focus when it comes to their removal efforts. To be sure you’re following best practices ask your local extension office and regulatory bodies about treatment methods and any removal suggestions. 

    Expert insight is the difference between rolling the rock up the hill or catching it on the downslope.

    Invasive Diseases

    Much like invasive pests, invasive diseases require a little more work and research before they can be removed. When looking to treat an invasive disease you will want to follow a similar practice to that of the invasive pests. 

    Check with your local extension office, local guidelines, and any regulatory agencies that are also fighting the invasive.

    Chances are there is a treatment protocol in place already and you’ll want to take the expert advice into account. If left untreated, an invasive disease can spread unnoticed wreaking havoc anywhere it can spread. 

    Preventing Invasives

    When it comes to invasive species management the best practice is to prevent them as much as possible. This is the only 100% guaranteed way that an invasive species can be prevented.

    While it is easier said than done, there are many ways that you can help stop the spread of invasives.

    1. Don’t move firewood. Buy your firewood locally and close to your camping locations. Many pest larvae are burrowed in contaminated wood that is then spread to different environments when moved. Prevent the spread and buy what’s there, we assure you we’re saving you in the long run. 
    1. Clean your equipment! Whether it’s a boat, your shoes, your pants, your camping equipment, what have you. Clean all items that may have picked up seeds, pests, or spores before entering or leaving an area where the spread may have taken place. 
    1. When in doubt, turn it down! If you’re not sure about whether it is diseased, contains a pest, or is invasive, leave it be and move onto your next option. While it may not always be preventable or noticeable at the time, invasive species have traits that they are known for and can help guide you as to whether or not it may be one.

    If you’d like to learn more about invasive species and ones that may affect your area be sure to stop by the USDA’s list of invasive species to learn more:


    5 Ways You Can Combat Invasive Species

    5 Ways You Can Combat Invasive Species

    Every year since 2010 the National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) takes place to encourage education and participation in efforts against invasive species throughout the U.S. The efforts are split into 2 weeks of the year so that NISAW has the opportunity to educate and practice 2 of the most important parts of battling invasives.

    The first part of NISAW takes place in late February and focuses on legislation and policies surrounding invasive species and their management. During another week in May, the NISAW resumes, focusing on outreach and education efforts. 

    During both weeks of NISAW, local community members and officials put their best foot forward in actions to remove invasive species and educate their communities on them. 

    In keeping up with doing our part, this week (and every day)  Plant Sentry™ will also be focusing on invasive species education and efforts to combat them.

    This leads us to here, in this wonderful blog where we’re going to cover 5 ways for you to combat invasive species in honor of National Invasive Species Awareness Week!

    1. Preventing the Spread

    When it comes to invasive species experts recognize that one of the best management practices is preventative measures. Too often invasives crowd out native plants and animals placing a strain on the natural resources of their environment.

    A major resource in preventing the spread of invasives has been educating community members on the dos and don’ts of their environment. A top resource and educator in these preventive measures has been the Play Clean Go project [1].

    Play Clean Go is an education program designed to bolster other education efforts in offering tips and tools (literally) to help prevent the spread of invasive species. PlayCleanGo recognizes that people spread invasive species and because of that, they can also help prevent the spread.

     As humans, we’re constantly on the go, and with the dirt and pieces of the environment that we move, so do the invasives with it. 

    We often unknowingly transfer invasive species with our travel and transport of items from one place to another. 

    Here’s How:

    1. The bottom of your shoes! 

    Say you’re up in the mountains hiking, but earlier that same week you were in a field full of invasive species. If you haven’t cleaned your shoes between trips, chances are you just transferred the invasive species to this mountain environment.

    It’s easy to think of the dirt on your shoes as just that, but if you’re tracking serious amounts of mud and dirt, there’s a chance you could be carrying an invasive.

    A great way to combat this type of spread is to clean your shoes between hikes, and every time you leave a different environment. Invasives cause tremendous amounts of damage in North America and it is up to each of us to do what we can to prevent their spread. 

    Does your shoe have hard-to-clean grooves? PlayCleanGo sells easy-to-pack and carry brushes that are perfect for picking mud and dirt out of those hard-to-reach grooves [2]. 

    2. Vehicle Tires!

    Much like the bottoms of your hiking boots, tires are filled with nice little nooks and crannies that are perfect for picking up invasive plant seeds and insects. A great way to help prevent the spread of these nuisances is to avoid taking your vehicle on unpaved roads and into areas where invasives have been sighted. While it can be challenging to resist the urge to go off-roading, doing so can protect your environment from unwanted destruction. 

    If you just can’t help yourself, be sure you clean the tires as well as possible before leaving the infected area.

    3. FIREWOOD!

    This is a big one! Firewood is a leading cause of the spread of invasive species. So much so, that many National and State parks throughout the country will not let you bring your own firewood when camping.

    Many invasive species are able to burrow and hide in cut wood and sustain harsh temperatures. As a result, when the wood is transferred to a new location, the invasives are given a new home and a new opportunity for destruction! 

    When camping or wanting to use firewood, purchase locally! The opportunity to buy firewood is never going to be too far from the opportunity to hike and camp. Pick some up from a local or nearby store and prevent the risk of spreading invasives!

    2. Identifying Invasive Species

    Now that you know a few tips on how to prevent the spread of invasives, you might be wondering what it is these invasives look like. Well, that’s a great wonder!

    The trouble with invasives is that they’re different for every state and every environment. Take Barberry (Berberis sp.) for example. While the majority of the Eastern part of the U.S. identifies it as a state-recognized invasive species, many states west of Indiana do not list it as invasive. 

    Knowing the list of invasives for each of the states you visit should be on your list of things to do if you plan on spending some time outside. [5] If you’re hiking in California, take a look at their invasives lists. If you’re visiting Florida, take a look at their invasives lists.

    Half the trouble with invasive species is that once they’ve arrived it can be challenging to locate each and every one of them roaming around their new environment. Identification and removal is a key effort in fighting invasives when they first arrive, so an extra set of eyes wouldn’t hurt!

    Prepared with a list of what to look for, if an invasive species is spotted you can report it to the necessary agencies that can come and remove it. [3]

    3. Educating Others

    Another part of the challenge in fighting against invasives isn’t just that they compete with native plants and species, but it’s also letting other people know! These newly introduced species often take hold early on in their new environments and community members aren’t given enough information about them. 

    Sometimes this is because we as a newly affected community don’t always know how they’re going to infect our environment, but also, because the word isn’t getting out.

    When it comes to invasive species, always share the information! Tell your friends and family members about them and ask them to report them if they’re sighted.

    Teamwork makes the dream for an invasive free habitat work! When in doubt refer back to the various experts that specialize in invasive species.

    4. Legislative Action

    As with anything that is going to affect your environment, some of the best actions you can take will be from the top of the regulatory food chain, legislation.

    While many of us hate to see it come to legislative action, sometimes strict enforcement of policy is necessary to get everyone on the same page. Laws and regulations that have been passed surrounding alien species are put in place to protect U.S. land and citizens. 

    When it comes to helping fight against invasive species, legislative actions can benefit your environment and make it more manageable for your local resources to beat them!

    5. Kicking Them Out!

    It’s pretty obvious at this point that invasive species just aren’t something that we want around. When it comes to getting rid of them, all the other steps before this will help in finding them, preventing them, and spreading them, but what about actually removing them?

    Throughout the U.S. volunteer efforts are put together so that you can get out and help remove invasive species! 

    There’s a number of different activities that you can participate in to help, but joining a local group or organization to clean up invasive species can make a big difference against invasives. Visit the USDA’s Take Action page for more information on getting involved in the removal of invasive species in your area.[4]

    A Job Well Done

     Every year the battle against these species costs the United States taxpayers millions of dollars in corrective and preventive action. With the tips from this blog, you should feel empowered and able to positively impact your community and their battle against invasive species. 

    Whether your area is fighting the Asian carp, the African snail, the brown tree snake, or the Asian longhorn beetle, there’s a way for you to stop their spread. 

    Throughout the next week and the warmer months to come I hope the tools we’ve given you today will encourage you to reach out in your community and fight invasive species, just like us at Plant Sentry™!








    The 5 Most Challenging Invasive Species of 2020

    The 5 Most Challenging Invasive Species of 2020

    (For the Garden Industry)

    For months, I’ve been publishing content hinting at the end of the year. Well, it’s finally arrived, the actual end of the year. So here I am, participating in the annual moment of reflection for perhaps the most controversial and difficult year in recent history. As l look back, all I can think of is how much we’ve overcome. 

    This year was nothing short of a challenge and being here today feelings like nothing shy of a miracle. But, looking back at all of the hard work our industry put in to thrive and stay afloat it’s not surprising that more growers and sellers saw upsides rather than downs.

    With the ever present threat of invasive species, disease, and pests learning from this past year’s challenges will be just what we need to tackle 2021.

    Let’s take a look back at this year’s 5 Most Challenging Invasive Species

    #1. The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire)

    This pest officially became so widespread this past year, that the USDA has ruled to roll back the quarantine efforts of the invasive species.

    This pest officially infests all but 13 states of the contiguous United States of America.

    Despite best efforts to quarantine and control the pest, the spread of the beetle has left many states with no other option but to remove the coveted Ash trees from their lands, and discontinue efforts of regulations. 

    The new USDA approach hopes to reserve funding and efforts currently used for quarantining the Emerald Ash Borer, so that more effective management can be developed and executed. [1]

    #2. Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama or ACP)

    This particular pest is always at the top of our list when it comes to terrible, no good, invasive species. As we’ve discussed in some of our previous blogs, the Asian Citrus Psyllid spreads the Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, also known as Citrus Greening, that currently has no cure.

    Citrus Greening is responsible for a 21% decline in the fresh citrus fruit market, as well as a 72% decline in the production of oranges as of 2019. [2] The pest and its disease is currently found in 9 states throughout the contiguous United States, all residing within the citrus belt of the U.S. 

    The ever growing threat of this pest and the disease it carries is the root of the numerous citrus agreements, certifications, and licenses that are necessary for the Green Industry. Maybe in 2021 we’ll finally be able to get rid of this sucker for good!

    #3. Gypsy Moth (Asian & European) 

    Besides being my least favorite invasive pest to look at, this pest sure is a doozy!

     It has many technical names. The Asian Gypsy Moth is scientifically identified as “AGM, including Lymantria dispar asiatica, Lymantria dispar japonica, Lymantria albescens, Lymantria umbrosa, and Lymantria post¬alba[3]. The European Gypsy Moth is scientifically identified as “lobesia botrana or EGVM” [4].

    See? A doozy. 

    But what’s more frustrating about this pest is the way that it invades its host trees and does just enough damage before leaving and making way for more dangerous diseases and pests to kill it off. Some of their trees of choice are Oak trees, Sweet Gum trees, Willow trees, Birch trees, Apple trees, and Boxelder trees. However, there are plenty of other trees they seek. The Asian variety of the gypsy moth eats both evergreen and deciduous tree varieties, while the European variety only targets deciduous trees.

    But as if their damage wasn’t enough, these apparently evolved species of moths also are difficult to prevent and control. Their unique “ballooning” method of transfer that their egg sacs can have, allows for them to be carried by wind instead of just flight. 

    It was estimated back in 2011 that for the 20 years prior this pest had caused $30 million dollars in damages A YEAR! [5].

    #4. Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula)

    If you follow us on social media @PlantSentry, or frequent our blogs, you’re probably familiar with this pest!

    This pest has been around since it was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, management efforts against the pest have been challenging to say the least. Part of the difficulty in managing this pest is that their eggs, larvae, and adults easily travel undetected through contaminated material. These materials can include your shoes, firewood, and really anything else they can attach themselves to.

    Educational efforts such as Play Clean Go help provide guidance to many of us who unknowingly transfer this pest in our outdoor activities. 

    This pest favors grape vines, hardwoods, and fruit trees, but will devor just about any plant. The fruit industry has been particularly impacted by this [6]. So far their cost in damages has resulted in a $50 Million dollar decline throughout the state of Pennsylvania. [7]

    Part of this economic decline as a result of the pest has also been 500 jobs lost throughout the state of Pennsylvania. [7]

    #5. Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)

    Ah, finally #5, Kudzu! Now here’s a real handful of an invasive species. This guy has been in the U.S. for years, all the way back to 1876, and was an introduced species originally used to help control erosion. Since its arrival this invasive species has become perhaps the most invasive plant species in the U.S.

    This plant currently inhabits mostly the Southeastern portion of the country but can be found in 30 states throughout the U.S. 13 of the 50 contiguous states currently list this plant as a noxious weed, although it is no longer a federally listed noxious weed. [8]

    With the ability to overgrow even trees in a forest, this plant overcrowds existing vegetation and prevents healthy growth of native species in their regions. It is currently estimated that this plant covers about 20,000 to 30,000 square kilometers of land throughout the U.S. [9]

    Nationwide this invasive species contributes to roughly $500 million dollars lost in cropland and control efforts. [9]

    Looking Forward in 2021

    So there you have it, the 5 most challenging invasive species that we faced in 2020 throughout the Garden Industry.

    It’s difficult to look at this list without concern for the future and wonder what combative steps we might take as an industry against these species. At Plant Sentry™ we ask these same questions and we have these same concerns. This is why as a company we’ve set the standard to provide the best possible guidance not just for ourselves, but for those we serve in resolving the challenges that invasive species bring. 

    Our company, Plant Sentry™, started out as a small idea, but it has turned into a component for much greater change. Throughout our industry companies and clients are showing more interest in working to resolve the challenges and issues that invasive species bring. As we greet the new year of 2021, we’re confident that our community will continue to encourage a brighter future with less invasive species.

    Until then,

    Happy New Year from Plant Sentry™












    Invasive Species Cost $137 Billion Dollars in 2019

    Invasive Species Cost $137 Billion Dollars in 2019

    “Invasive species are a global issue, but they impact local communities causing damage to their economy and environment daily.

    Dr. Mark Renz | Professor & Extension Specialist | University of Wisconsin at Madison

    Invasive species include non-native insects, animals, invertebrates, aquatic organisms, diseases, and plants. Their hallmark is the ability to outcompete the native species within their new environment.

    Although most people may not be aware of the expense of invasive species, they do cause a considerable expense to our country. In 2019 alone, the cost projections were roughly $137 billion.

    February 24th – 28th is National Invasive Species Week (NISAW)

    Every year, the efforts this week focus on awareness of the persistent battle against invasive species’ damages. Word is getting out there:

    • Consumers are getting more savvy about the impact of invasive species.
    • Most insurance companies look for beneficial programs that help reduce liability costs.

    Verified Purchases Help You Stop the Spread of Invasive Species

    Plant Sentry™ is an affordable and scalable software solutions to protect wholesale, retail and e-commerce sales. It helps you do everything you can to stop the spread of invasive species.

    This efficient software is a big part of the solution moving forward. As you know, it takes time to build and maintain relationships with all the regulators at State and Federal levels.

    We help you manage all the compliance requirements. This includes both growing and shipping regulated plant materials for each State of origin and each destination State.

    Our team stays active in the game. This way we stay ahead of new regulated plant, pest, and disease concerns.

    In addition, we serve on councils, committees, and a board regarding the issue of invasive species. We speak to national audiences at industry conferences and universities to promote our effort.

    Our work is continuous, not only one week out of the year.

    Get Compliance Support with Plant Sentry™

    Plant Sentry ™ is a consolidated national compliance database of all State and Federal regulations governing plant diseases, regulated pests, invasive plants and quarantine areas. It is continuously updated.

    This mobile-ready tool makes it easy to comply with rapidly changing growing, inspection and audit requirements for all Federal regulations and restrictions of all 50 States.

    National Invasive Species Week puts a spotlight on invasive species solutions. It’s time for efficient tools like Plant Sentry™ to stop these pests.

    Get a free quote for your customized Plant Sentry™ solution.

    (866) 335-0956

    [email protected]


    Unseen Costs of Prohibited Plant Shipments

    Unseen Costs of Prohibited Plant Shipments

    There are many consequences of shipping pests, diseases, and invasive plants that affect our communities. Poor plant shipments result in expenses of billions of dollars per year nationwide.

    At the state level, bad plant shipments tie up critical state resources. Already stretched to capacity, officials must work to mitigate invasive pests, invasive plants or plant diseases.

    Each state is handicapped by plants that escape cultivation and harm the environment. For example, Wisconsin battles buckthorn, Japanese barberry, Phragmites, and more.

    These battles cost landowners and hard-working taxpayers millions of dollars.

    Bad plant shipments can be accidental. Or, they can be intentional, when someone evades regulations.

    Putting Years of Development in Jeopardy

    Strong efforts are being funded by the green industry to develop new plants that are resistant to pests or disease. Breeders are also scrambling to develop non-invasive plants to battle the issue.

    These breeding programs develop new plants that help growers and retailers make sales in areas that have prohibited the unimproved genera of plants. They must be approved by state officials.

    Developing new trees and shrubs can take decades to develop, with funding and physical labor needed in significant amounts. All this effort can be for naught, if the new plant can’t be shipped into the states most hurt by the unimproved genera.

    Bad Plant Shipments Hurt Working Relationships With State Regulators

    The green industry must cooperate with regulations for invasive plants, pests and diseases. If they don’t, states are less likely to be cooperative in making exceptions for new non-invasive, low fertility plant cultivars developed by breeders.

    For instance, a breeder may spend eight to twelve years developing a triploid burning bush (Euonymus alatus) that produces very few viable seeds per mature plant.

    Regulators exposed to a non-cooperative industry may be less inclined to allow an exception for the triploid cultivar.

    The case is often made by regulators that it is simpler and more efficient to restrict an entire species without exceptions.

    “Our industry needs to work with the regulators of plant material and its pests to protect our business interests as well as the natural areas,” said Mike Yanny, President of JN Plant Selections. “We need to help the regulators do their job successfully to accomplish our common goals, with the least amount of pain to the industry.”

    Affordable Plant Sentry™ Stops Bad Plant Shipments

    The team behind Plant Sentry™ acknowledges the problem of selling and shipping the wrong plants to areas affected by pests, diseases, or invasive species, and they know it must be stopped.

    We also understand that there are laws in place, but the information can be hard to track down and interpret.

     “Working with Plant Sentry™ can be an excellent way to make shipping easier,” said Yanny. “Using their expertise allows businesses to know they are being responsible for protecting areas from invasive pests and plants. At the same time, they can ship in an efficient and productive manner.”

    • Plant Sentry™ tracks down and interprets regulatory information for growers, retailers, and more using a maintained national database that verifies plant shipments.
    • It creates a single language for correct botanic nomenclature, eliminating any possible confusion in shipment.
    • Plant Sentry gives retailers a strong marketing tool. Displaying the Plant Sentry™ verification seal assures consumers that their plant purchases have added value.
    • Plant Sentry™ uses an emergency response in any accidental shipments, which works to prevent any loss of control.

    In total, Plant Sentry™ is not only an effective solution to mitigate bad plant shipments, it’s a sustainable way to move a growing operation forward. By proofing each plant purchase for consumers, it will inevitably help growers and retailers move more plants the right way.


    Protecting Plants and Giving Thanks

    Protecting Plants and Giving Thanks

    In celebrating the month of Thanksgiving, we see homecomings for many families across the nation. We treasure the joy and togetherness, talking about great times and eating favorite foods like cranberries, corn, pumpkin pie, and the famous turkey.

    You might be surprised to hear that many food items showing up on your kitchen table could be severely affected by certain pests, diseases, and invasive weeds.

    Green Industry is Concerned About the Movement of Pests, Diseases, and Invasive Species

    The recent eradication of Plum Pox, a lethal virus of the genus Prunus-including apricots, almonds, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums-is a significant example. Putting up a twenty year fight, the disease resulted in enormous eradication costs for the United States.

    Plum Pox would have severely impacted the $6.3 billion dollar stone fruit industry if not contained and eliminated. Though we applaud the efforts it took to ensure this pest was put to rest, the Plum Pox situation stresses the need for compliance, both interstate and abroad.

    Consumers and Compliance Can Stop the Spread

    With countless other pests and diseases-not to mention invasive plants-costing billions of dollars, it is critical that industry put a stop to the spread. Fortunately, there are two proven methods for doing just that.

    First, as a team, industry must work to teach consumers the appropriate way to purchase plants. Second, industry must verify that the right plants get shipped to the right places. It seems quite simple, and yet, persistent issues continue to escalate all over the country and beyond.

    Use a Systems Approach to Validate the Proper Shipment of Plants

    Plant Sentry™ is a software solution that frees up critical staff time by using a systems approach to validate proper shipment of plants.

    The green industry is unquestionably responsible for regulation, and it should take charge in thwarting all activities that ignore these fundamental policies. The largest green industry organization, AmericanHort, is supporting Plant Sentry™ efforts to promote a healthy, quality environment for our land, communities, or neighboring businesses (i.e. orchards, agronomic crops).

    The standards of this approach furthermore align with and enhance other certification programs. AmericanHort, as well as other green industry groups, knows the value of consumer satisfaction. The Plant Sentry™ seal of verification maintains consumer confidence in our products, pushing both products and the nation forward.

    Utilizing this tool helps on two additional fronts. It funds key research and programs through AmericanHort and it puts products where they should be.

    Ship Nursery Stock with the Plant Sentry™ Verification Seal

    Allow plants to be grown where they should be grown, without negatively impacting the environment or affecting that holiday meal.

    The fight is far from over, but this Thanksgiving, each and every individual has the chance to make a real difference. Help lead the fight to plant what is right


    Invasive Species Cost Hidden Dollars and Headaches

    Invasive Species Cost Hidden Dollars and Headaches

    Invasive species, whether they are plants, pests, or diseases wreak major havoc throughout the United States. Bill Jones of Carolina Native Plant Nursery recently published an informative article in Nursery Management Magazine regarding the amount of money spent trying to eradicate these species from each state. 

    Costs to Fight Invasive Species Are Staggering

    States are spending an estimated $50,000,000,000 to $120,000,000,000 to fight invasive plant species, pests and diseases. With costs as shocking as these, you may be wondering who really pays for it all—and you’ve most likely guessed it. The U.S. taxpayer is paying these astronomical costs. 

    In Jones’s article, he questions who is liable for these problems in the first place. One can point the finger in many different directions, but most often the Green Industry is to blame. 

    To date, the Green Industry has not hit the liability front for these expensive, vast cleanups. However, as grant funding starts to fall short and less money becomes available, someone is sure to pay. 

    We’d all love to believe that controlling invasive species is easy when money is accessible, but it truly isn’t. Anyone having to deal with the eradication of a plant, pest, or disease understands the painful headache accompanying it. 

    Small teams of volunteers and grant-funded staff battle invasive plants, pests, and diseases year-round. Some of these species may be too far gone to ever get under control. 

    Further, the invasive front often involves organisms that drift into the United States from outside of the country. In order to prevent new plant problems on top of this, there are many educational tools, including Plant Risk Evaluator Tool™ (PRE) from Plant Right® that can be utilized. 

    This may be one more thing that lawmakers can use when deciding whether or not to ban a plant. Most states already have invasive species laws and established processes for assessing plants, but any additional strategy has merit.

    Regulate to Slow Pests and Diseases

    As far as pests and diseases are concerned, such organisms must be regulated to slow the spread. In some cases, regulation offers the opportunity for eliminating them altogether. Several successful programs are currently in use to control the Asian Longhorned Beetle and eradicate the Plum Pox Virus from New York. Though costly, these programs do work, and the end result is extremely rewarding. 

    However, it is important to understand that the threat of the spread of pests, diseases, and other invasive species can happen rapidly, especially today. With trade, eCommerce, garden clubs, benefit auctions, countless avenues of transportation, and more, regulation is more critical than ever before. 

    Plant Sentry™ Was Developed To Fight Invasive Plants, Pests and Diseases

    Plant Sentry™ was developed to help ease the navigation of verifying plant shipments. This can be done any time during the process up until ship point. With proven auditable results, this tool can help stop the spread of pests, diseases, and invasive species. 

    Even more, in the case of an emergency, Plant Sentry™ helps mobilize individuals quickly to extinguish the fire. 

    Minimizing future liability by buying a product today isn’t only smart—it’s vital. Plant Sentry™ is indubitably a valuable option; it is efficient and direct when used to a grower’s advantage. 

    Winning battles against invasive species requires vigilance, and Plant Sentry™ employs this to its core. 

    In today’s world, we must all do our part. And so, we urge you to take action. 

    Employ these proven tactics. Commit to a healthier, headache-free environment. And better yet, do it today, because tomorrow may be too late. Contact us to start the conversation. Our team is here to help get your questions answered.


    First National Invasive Plant Database

    First National Invasive Plant Database

    Plant Sentry™ Helps Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

    With a threatening accumulation of regional plant problems, groups fighting invasive plant species are increasing across the US. As states spend millions of dollars battling such plants, these groups are attempting to protect the healthy environment. The efforts underway work to suppress the spread of unwanted plants that destroy both landscapes and habitat.

    A new group of enthusiastic residents from Hamilton County, Indiana has formed to help control invasives. Specifically those that the Indiana Native Plant and Wildlife Society speculates cost the state more than 5.7 million dollars annually.

    Phil Flannagan, a group spokesperson, says, “Invasive species can cause a domino effect that harms ecosystems. Some of the berries invasive plants produce, birds eat them, but it’s like a sugar high. There’s no real nutrition there.”

    Flannagan is referring to the laxative effect, which causes wildlife to lose energy, making them more susceptible to poor health and even survival. The laxative effect has been proven to spread the invasive plant problem at a more exponential rate, as well.

    According to Flannagan, “I think most people, if they knew what was going on, they would not plant something like that.”

    So now we raise the question: how do you know what to plant – or even more importantly – what plant could pose a problem in your area? To answer this question, we must navigate plant shipment regulation.

    This can be difficult for both consumers and growers, as plant shipment regulation is so complex. To find out whether a plant can or cannot be shipped to a certain state, loads of information is compiled.

    To make things even more challenging, such information must be sorted, maintained, and kept up-to-date. So how we do answer our critical questions efficiently?

    Luckily, a solution for the struggle is here. Through Plant Sentry™, the first national database is newly available, and it can be used by growers to help promote shipping the right plant to the right place. Plant Sentry™ utilizes every available tool to stay ahead of regulation, saving growers time and money. This allows them to concentrate on new plant varieties that do not cause problems.

    Not only will this solution help nation-wide, but it will assist small groups such as the one in Indiana, allowing them to get a foothold on what invasive plants are present. It will also prevent the wrong plants from being shipped to their state.

    Additionally, education and the evaluation of potentially problematic plants will further the goal of protecting the environment and landscape from invasive species. Pre™ Tool , developed by Plant Right® with the help of researches at the University of California-Davis and the University of Washington will also help feed the proactive effort to prevent new regional invasive plant species.

    Fortunately, our team at Plant Sentry™ is watching changes in plants that might occur with the assistance of great programs like Pre™ Tool so you do not have to.

    Though not widely known, every state battles some type of invasive plant problem. Even more, every state has groups that exhaust efforts to clean up invasive plant problems.

    With great optimism, we can say that the upward trend of efforts to eliminate invasive species will only increase over time. If you are a landowner, you may or may not have experienced an invasive plant issue; however, those that have should be excited to know that the proactive movement to stop the spread is growing.

    We encourage everyone to support this movement in any way. Together, and with great determination, we can eliminate invasive plant species from our quality landscapes and environment.


    Plant Right®

    University of Washington

    University of California-Davis

    Current in Wesfield-Current Publishing, Carmel Indiana


    Invasive Plants Have a Big Impact on Freshwater Habitats

    Invasive Plants Have a Big Impact on Freshwater Habitats

    Trout Unlimited, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving freshwater habitats, has been improving environments for many years. Working across the nation to protect and restore freshwater habitats, Trout Unlimited faces multiple challenges. One battle in particular has proven to be a persistent challenge… fighting invasive plant species.

    Though the nature of surrounding plant species may not seem significant, invasive plant species have a serious influence on freshwater habitats. Not only do they crowd out native vegetation that shades trout streams, but invasive species are also a nuisance to bikers, fishermen, hikers, and kayakers attempting to navigate such thickets. This often results in a negative impact on local economies.

    In 2016, Trout Unlimited conducted a study in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, specifically looking at the characteristics of a trout economy. Restoration of productive trout streams in southeastern Wisconsin had generated billions of dollars in tourism and created more jobs.

    1,200 miles of habitat was restored, totaling 24,000 square miles in the Driftless Area. An increase from $1.1 billion dollars in 2008 to nearly $1.6 billion dollars by 2016 was seen as the percentage of visitors drastically improved. These visitors are critical, as they also spend money at gas stations, specialty shops, hotels, restaurants, and more. This creates a multiplier effect.

    When asked, 88% of visitors reported recognizing that the areas had been restored. They had decided to fish the Driftless Area because of its new beauty and accessible healthy trout streams.

    Another study conducted by the Department of Biology at the University of Dayton concluded that honeysuckle Lonicera maackii was highly disruptive to the biomass in surrounding streams. Driving out native plants necessary for maintaining biodiversity for many species, including trout, the plant creates a very dense canopy that almost completely shades the opportunity for new plant life to emerge. Furthermore, it limits the possibility for stream regeneration to occur.

    Removing the Honeysuckle eliminated massive leaf barriers, allowing native leaves to support the stream life. The University of Dayton concluded, as many others have, that invasive plant species have a strong influence on macroinvertebrates and their population survival.

    Invasive Plants Are An Ultimate Challenge

    Altering aquatic food webs necessary to sustain life is especially a prominent issue. With millions of dollars used to battle and remove invasive plants in such regions as the Driftless Area, it is evident how significant the issue is. However, investment in conservation and restoration has proven to improve both local habitats and economies. As a result, it is important to consider prevention methods. This way, the issue at hand could be fought before it expands.

    Prevention methods are an effective solution, and one in particular works to protect environments from plants that pose harm: Plant Sentry™.


    Plant Shipment: It’s More Than the Box

    Plant Shipment: It’s More Than the Box

    Plants are being shipped from state to state more frequently today than ever before. Most consumers are unaware of what’s involved to ship and deliver healthy plants without significant economic and environmental risks.

    Shipping Plants Successfully is Not Easy

    Some companies claim that their boxing technique is better than the competitors. Does this single step guarantee you are getting the best plant? Certainly not, industry best practices now include certified processes that ensure plants have been cared for properly and verified not to spread harmful pests, diseases, or invasive species.

    The Plant Sentry™ process starts by working with state and federal officials. We ensure that every step is followed to the letter of the law, and we support growers in their compliance efforts before they ship a plant intra- or interstate. The entire inspection team places another set of eyes on each step in the critical process needed to get you a healthy plant.

    How do you know this inspection has taken place? You should know immediately, as each plant article must contain a general plant inspection certificate issued by the state. In some cases, there may even be a federal shield on the outside of the box.

    These established guidelines help protect our valuable resources—including agricultural commodities, urban municipalities, water, and the environment—from billions of dollars in damage each year. The utilization of state and federal inspectors is a great help in saving your hard-earned tax dollars.

    Thinking Outside the Box…

    It’s true that not all boxes are created equal. However, it’s not just the box that protects the plant. Growing techniques, inspections, and care along the way all play a big part in protecting plants.

    Most online vendors do not have standard operating procedures to make sure the plant care is consistent and regulated. At Plant Sentry™, we employ the rigid guidelines of the American Standards for Nursery Stock and align with the Systems Approach to Nursery Certification Standards (SANC) among all other sustainability practices and the latest science generated by our best universities.

    At Plant Sentry™, we work with growers to achieve successful shipping of healthy plants to your door. We listen to renowned universities, knowledgeable state and federal officials, and most importantly, we listen to you. Fine attention to detail, grower and staff empowerment, team engagement, and assistance from state and federal officials is a systems approach you will not find outside of Plant Sentry™.

    Our e-commerce certification sets us apart from the rest. A healthy plant grown at its original location and shipped fresh to you is the best prospect. It is no different than picking a fresh green bean from the garden. Wouldn’t you feel more confident purchasing a plant through a certified source?

    You could have the best box design in the world, but it is only one small component of a larger, critical process. Choose Plant Sentry™ certified growers and retailers to ensure your plants and the environment are considered with integrity at every stage of the plant shipping process.