Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

March 28, 2016

State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Excellent Compliance Rates With Invasive Species Regulations

State Horticulture Inspectors Found Licensed Plant Growers and Dealers Averaged 95% Compliance Rate With New Invasive Species Control

Barberry Now Included on List of Prohibited Plants

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced excellent compliance rates among New York State’s licensed plant growers and dealers in meeting New York State’s Part 575 Invasive Species Regulations.  The regulations, which went into effect March 10, 2015, were created to help control invasive species by reducing the introduction of new populations and limiting the growth of existing populations. The Department’s horticultural inspectors found a 95 percent compliance rate with the regulations pertaining to prohibited plants across the state during its routine inspections of these licensed establishments.

Commissioner Ball said, “We are pleased to report that our state’s nursery industry has responded so well to the new regulations meant to control the spread of invasive species in New York State.  Invasive species are harmful to our farms, the environment and ultimately to our economy.  Our goal is to educate growers, dealers and the public of the environmental impact of invasive species, and with everyone doing their part, we have a better shot at being successful at preventing the spread of these species.”

Basil Seggos, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, said, “Invasive species are a significant threat to the ecological integrity and economic vitality of farms, forests and other ecosystems in New York, and it’s great to see such strong compliance with our regulations.  We are proud to work closely with the Department of Agriculture and Markets on the successful implementation of the state’s comprehensive invasive species regulations and further advance programs to reduce the spread of invasive species.”

In July of 2012, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that directed the Departments of Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation to cooperatively develop regulations aimed at controlling the spread of invasive species in New York State.   Those regulations were adopted in 2014 and went into effect in March 2015.

Part 575 includes a list of 69 prohibited plants and six regulated plants. Plants included on the prohibited list can no longer be sold, propagated or introduced in New York. Species on the regulated list must be sold with warning labels and instructions for care of plants to prevent spread or introduction of the species.

Holly Cargill-Cramer, Executive Director of the New York State Nursery & Landscape Association, said, “New York State Nursery and Landscape Association has appreciated the cooperative efforts of NYS Departments of Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation in helping us educate our member businesses on compliance with the Part 575 Invasive Species regulations. We're pleased to see these efforts paying off as demonstrated by the high compliance rates reported by inspectors. This serves as a great example of how government and industry can partner to reduce negative impacts to our environment and the agriculture industry through control of potential invaders.”

Compliance Rates

Over the last year, Department inspectors were directed to educate the public and license holders about the new regulation requirements and document non-compliance to the Part 575 New York State Invasive Species Regulations.

Inspectors visited 1,533 plant dealer facilities across the state, and found the vast majority, 1,480 or 96.5 percent, were in compliance with the regulations pertaining to prohibited plants.  They also found 85 percent were in compliance with properly labeling regulated plants.

Department inspectors also visited 1,077 plant grower locations across the state and found a compliance rate of 94.25 percent with the regulations pertaining to prohibited plants.  More than 75 percent of growers adhered to the labeling requirement regulations.

Barberry Prohibited

As part of the regulations, Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is, as of March 10, 2016, a prohibited plant.   The state allowed a one-year exemption of this plant to allow the nursery industry to sell down supplies and lessen the economic impact. The only exception to the prohibition of Barberry is the cultivar “Aurea” which has been documented to have a lower risk of becoming invasive.  A complete list of exempt cultivars can be found at

Invasive species can have devastating impacts to the agricultural industry, and result in increased costs to consumers.  For example, it is estimated that Plum pox virus has a $600 million per year economic impact on the plum, peach and apricot industry worldwide through the removal of trees. 

A study commissioned by the USDA Forest Service estimated the impact of Emerald ash borer, a beetle native to Asia that has the potential to spread and kill native ash trees. Focusing on developed land within established communities in a 25-state area centered on Detroit, the study estimated the cost of ash tree treatment, removal and replacement (re-planting of new trees) between 2009 and 2019 to be $10.7 billion. 

The Department will continue to educate the plant industry in New York State about Part 575 Invasive Species Regulations and monitor plant growers and dealers for compliance. 

To learn more about the Part 575 Invasive Species Regulations and view the list of plants included, visit  Additional information can be found on the Department’s website at

2016 Press Releases