Voluntary code drafted for nursery growers

A draft for the voluntary code of conduct for nursery growers dealing with invasive species has been nearly finalized. It was drafted at a meeting in St. Louis this year by a group of growers, and is being OK'd by university, environmental group and governmental representatives.

The codes are:

1. Ensure that invasive potential is assessed prior to introducing and marketing plant species new to North America. Invasive potential should be assessed by the introducer or qualified experts using emerging risk assessment methods that consider plant characteristics and prior observations or experience with the plant elsewhere in the world. Additional insights may be gained through extensive monitoring on the nursery site prior to further distribution.

2. Work with regional experts and stakeholders to determine which species in your region are either invasive or will become invasive. Identify plants that could be suitable alternatives in your region.

3. Develop and promote alternative plant material through plant selection and breeding.

4. Where agreement has been reached among nursery associations, government, academia and ecology and conservation organizations, phase out existing stocks of those specific invasive species in regions where they are considered to be a threat.

5. Follow all laws on importation and quarantine of plant materials across political boundaries.

6. Encourage customers to use, and garden writers to promote, noninvasive plants.

For more information, visit http://www.mobot.org/iss.

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