Long Island Bans Invasive Plants

The Suffolk County legislature recently passed an invasive plant law that forbids the sale, propagation and introduction of plants on a “Do Not Sell” list. Plants of interest to the green industry are purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and some honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.). The law is significant because Suffolk County is the largest producer of horticultural commodities in the state of New York.

“When this bill was originally introduced in February, the list of ‘Do Not Sell’ plants was very inaccurate,” reports Cornell University’s Dr. Mark Bridgen, who is stationed on Long Island. “There were several plants on the list that were not invasive and were no threat to Long Island. For several months, many nursery professionals, the Long Island Farm Bureau and members of Cornell University spent countless hours working on the list and negotiating with the county’s invasive plant committee.”

The compromise is reflected in the list that was legalized and both the Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association and Long Island Farm Bureau will be represented on the county’s nine-member board overseeing water and land invasives.

The entire list of plants and law can be viewed at: http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/legis/resos2007/i1144-07.htm

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