For the Love of Plants: How Regulations Protect Your Garden
It’s no secret that we love plants around this place. Everything that Plant Sentry does is for the love of plants!
But in some parts of the world loving plants is a secondary task. Too often the regulations set out to keep the very plants we love safe, take a back burner to the threats that surround them.
There’s a lot that goes into protecting different plants and their well being! Did you know that some plants are so harmful that they can’t be in the same environment as other plants?
As a means to try and protect plants from the threat they pose to one another, regulatory officials prohibit and regulate certain plants in certain parts of the country in hopes to protect natural ecosystems.
Much like the efforts of Plant Sentry™, decision-makers keep the threats of invasive plants, pests, and diseases at the forefront of their considerations of what plants are safe, and which ones are not.
So what goes into prohibiting a plant? How do regulators and officials decide which ones are safe and which ones are dangerous?
In today’s blog, we’re going to find answers to this very question.
Identifying Invasive Relationships
First thing is first when it comes to determining whether or not to prohibit a plant, officials have to determine whether or not the plant is an invasive species.
Invasive species overcrowd healthy plant populations and suppress their ability to grow successfully.
By prohibiting invasive species regulators and growers are better able to protect current plants from their exposure. Invasive species have costly damages that no one wants to pay.
Identifying invasive species quickly and early can save a whole lot of trouble later on.
Sometimes growers don’t realize that the plants they’re selling may be invasive. Sometimes, the consumer may not realize the plants they’re buying are invasive.
If you’re unsure what plants are and aren’t invasive to your local environment visit the USDA Invasive Species Information Center.
This site provides access to all 50 states’ lists of invasive species . The more you know about the rules surrounding these species, the better you can protect your garden!
A Negative Attraction
Trying to predict the future and see if something could be prohibited later on? A great way to predict what plants may be up for new regulations is to keep an eye on the pests.
While it is incredibly uncommon, plants can be prohibited or removed from environments simply because an invasive pest really likes them.
While it most certainly seems unfair to plant lovers, the harsh reality is that without stringent protection from these pests the plants we love would be lost anyway. As a result, many states will either discourage or prohibit the planting of certain species of plants in hopes of starving out the pests.
Before the USDA moved to remove Federal Regulations on the Emerald Ash Borer, states spent millions of dollars combatting it!
Many states kept a watchful eye on the pest, hoping to protect their beloved Ash trees and prevent an invasion of the EAB.
In the state of Nebraska, one action of protection was to discourage the sale and movement of Ash trees within the state. The hopes were to slow down the spread of the invasive pest by limiting their resources. and still, keep the trees within the state.
However, after the damages continued Nebraska decided to remove a lot of the trees. In many parts of the state, the damage has been so extensive that treatment isn’t possible and removal is the only option.
Now, Ash trees in Nebraska are often removed throughout the state in efforts to starve out the EAB and hopefully regrow the Ash trees at a future date.
Keeping a watchful eye on how pests affect plants can give you indications of whether or not you’ll want to purchase these plants for yourself.
With quarantine federal deregulation, it will be important to keep up with the state by state measures for the EAB that will develop over the next coming years.
To learn more about how you may combat the Emerald Ash Borer and other invasive pests visit the USDA’s APHIS page .
Another category that gets identified in lists of plants that can be prohibited is Noxious Weeds.
Noxious weeds are identified as weeds that are harmful to the environment or animals. In the U.S. each of these weeds participates in the USDA’s APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine Risk Assessment.
In this program, the APHIS PPQ evaluates each of the species of weed for their abilities to spread, establish, and cause harm to the U.S. environments. The assessments can be conducted for really any reason that may suggest a threat to the U.S.
For many of these plant species, they overcrowd the native plants and radically change the local ecosystems. Many states independently identify Noxious Weeds within their environments and prohibit their sale or distribution within their borders in hopes of preventing their spread and threat.
To learn more about the plants on this list, and who’s on it visit the APHIS page for Noxious Weeds .
Helping Healthy Plants
While many plants are restricted throughout the U.S., it doesn’t mean that they aren’t still sold or distributed. In the gray area of the Garden Industry, somewhere between not knowing better, and not caring, these plants are still sold to communities nationwide.
As officials continue the uphill battle against these plants, some of the best methods of combat are community education and programs like Plant Sentry™.
Much like the regulatory officials working hard to protect your environments, at Plant Sentry™ we know the damage these plants cause. We know that it takes a community effort to prevent the spread and sale of these species. This is why we work tirelessly to provide our clients with the tools and insights they need to protect themselves from these plants.
Now that you understand a little bit more about why plants get prohibited, we hope that you too will share with your community to help prevent their spread!