Are Currants or Gooseberries Legal In South Carolina?

maryt_gardenerMarch 7, 2009

I'm moving to Chester co. Sc soon, I've been making some plans for berry planting and I have heard that some ribes plants--currants or gooseberry in particular are ilegal in North Carolina--I can't seem to find any info about them in South Carolina. Does anyone know or know where to look?


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Contact the Clemson Extension Office.
Below is a link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clemson extension Office

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 9:05AM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

As an alternative, contact the local agricultural extension office in Chester and talk to an agent there (if it is not the one mentioned above).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:40AM
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I second contacting the Extension Office. You will find them very helpful here. I'm over in Lancaster County and contacted my local agent via email. He responded to me withing 24 hours with the info I needed. And welcome to South Carolina!!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:23AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I wanted to grow gooseberries here like it did in Ct. but could never find any locally. Then I read where they cannot be sold because they contribute to fungus diseases that attack the local fruit agriculture. People can buy currents/gooseberry plants by mail order from companies that don't care what the laws are in destination states but didn't do that.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:33AM
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jitterbug4756(zone 8)

I live near Park Seed & Wayside Gardens and they sell gooseberry bushes, so I'm thinking they must not be illegal here in SC , but you might want to check with your extension agent. I'd thought about growing them several years ago, but talked with some garden friends who had tried and didn't have good results.They said it was too hot here for them. I'd sure love to have a gooseberry pie tho !

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:29PM
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thanks all! I will contact clemson--I had no idea who to ask. I had read that there is a problem with them hosting some disease that effects pine--and that they are ilegal in NC. I really wanted currant mainly for jelly and for birds. But I have lots of pines so I don't want to cause a problem with those.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 7:55AM
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I snooped around the internet and never did find a definitive site that listed if Ribes or Rubrus were legal in SC. I guess if your state is listed at the end of the plant description on any bush web catalog that would tell you.

When I first heard about the restrictions I thought they sounded kinda harsh but I went along with them. Now I have read and re-read various articles online about the history of the problem and it all makes me mad enough to plant a million of them in my yard. I understand the importance of the lumber industry to North Carolina. I respect all that it involves. I can comprehend the danger that a disease can cause when it spreads. But this problem was NOT caused by backyard berry growers - it was caused by shortsighted lumber industry people importing infected pine seedlings from Europe. And then, to top things off, they formed teams that went throughout the pine forest across the US and destroyed the NATIVE gooseberries and currants!!!!!!!!!!!!! all in the name of covering up their mistake. A whole lot of wildlife depends on those berries but wildlife isn't as important as furniture making or two by fours. This is as bad as the Canada Goose problem - which also has a non-natural cause (just thank the US Wildlife Dept the next time you step in goose poop at the lake). Shortsided government.

Now, over time, both pine trees and gooseberries and currants have developed various degrees of resistance to White Pine Blister or whatever the disease is now called. This resistance came from nature, not a government lab. Some states recognize this fact and have lifted the ban on Ribes & Rubrus (Gooseberries and Currants). Some states lifted the ban because all the efforts to eradicate the disease didn't work. North Carolina stills bans them. Shortsighted government.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 1:39PM
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mike_marietta_sc_z8a(z8a upstate SC)

White pines are only native in northern Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee counties, and white pine blister rust only attacks the 5-needle pine species. It doesn't bother the other pines native to SC, all of which have 2 or 3 needles. So if your climate allows it, go ahead and grow Ribes.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 7:47AM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Funny, if that disease problem and it's proposed solution were occurring today we wouldn't have the budget or the staff to go tramping the pine forests of the USA.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 1:02PM
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I am in Columbia, & have a gooseberry in Lugoff on a farm. It came from Henry Fields & is green, it bared the first year & every year after(3).I have a Red Lake currant that not doing as well.
I am going to try "Poorboy", it is said to be sweeter & does well in zone 7. If Henry Fields do not carry Poorboy then I will get it from Rain tree.
If you would like more on gooseberries, use the search at the top of the page then green back button, as I did when I found this thread.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:58PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

It was the cedar-apple rust issue that I learned was the reason to prevent selling currant/gooseberry plants here. I've never seen the effects on apples or apple trees but I've sure seen it on my cedars. Disgusting looking orange growths on cedar tips that look like a mutant slime mold.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 1:05PM
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stemy(z7 Fort Mill, SC)

Legal in SC. Illegal in NC.
But I had trouble with them handling the full sun in the middle of summer here in SC.... at least that's what I'm atributing it to. They came back when we started cooling back down in September.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:37PM
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