Native Species Planting Guide for New York City

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prohibiting the planting of invasive plants and promoting native biodiversity and functional

ecosystems, the City‟s ecological resilience will be increased.

New York State Regulation

Early attempts at regulation occurred in the neighboring states of Connecticut (2004) and

Massachusetts (2006), and local laws were passed in Nassau and Suffolk counties (2007).

The New York State law was passed in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders

including ecologists and the nursery and landscape industry. Under the regulatory framework, a

given species is examined with both a scientific assessment and a socioeconomic assessment.

Criteria including ecological impact, biological characteristics, dispersal ability, ecological

amplitude and distribution, and difficulty of control are among those assessed. Cultivars of these

species will be assessed separately.

Species exceeding certain thresholds as determined by the ranking protocols are placed in one

of two categories.

Prohibited – Unlawful to possess with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport, introduce, or

propagate except under a permit for disposal, control, research, or education.

Regulated – Possession, sale, purchase, propagation, and transport are legal, but these

species may not be introduced into a free-living state on public land or in natural areas.

Those species not listed in one of the above categories are considered unregulated.

What Does This Mean for New York City?

This law is primarily intended to exclude listed plants from commerce, so they will no longer be

available for purchase or planting. Ultimately, it will bar certain plants from use in public

landscapes. Residents and agencies will no longer be able to specify these plants in capital

project designs, plant them in ornamental beds on private or public property, grow them at

greenhouses, or offer them for sale. A permit process will be created for disposal, control and

research activities involving some of these species.

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