laws re. exchanges

bluegirl_gwJuly 10, 2012

I used to do a lot of swaps 10 yrs ago but haven't been active in a long time.

Where do you find state restrictions re. shipping plant material? Years ago a commercial grower in another state told me that, generally, soil-less shipping of non-patented stuff was okay, or at least tolerated.

Now I'm not so sure. Seems like a lot of states have some really draconian laws. Even my own, TX requires a phytosanitary cert. for plant shipments.

I hate to be spooked about sharing, but I don't want to get in trouble either.

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I too was about to do some exchange until I read theses rules. It is not worth getting a fine for a hobby.

Here is a link to the US Postal Service for mailing:

Here is a link to laws to plants at the state level:

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Thanks for the links.

Yeah, it occurred to me that mailing involves Fed. laws, too, & that an innocent mistake could be big trouble if someone wanted to make an example of a friendly trader. IIRC, even in my own state you're not supposed to transport across county lines--which seems awfully extreme, if true. Shame, but things have changed since 10 yrs ago.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 7:02PM
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I'm not encouraging anyone to do anything illegal, immoral, or against their will, beliefs or comfort levels, however, I do trade cuttings back and forth all across the country and have for many years. I have never had any difficulties sending nor receiving cuttings, rooted or not. I only use Priority Mail. I answer the questions on the self service postal machine honestly as there never are any caustic, flammable, corrosive, explosive, chemical, etc., contents. Every box I've mailed has arrived in excellent shape with no issues from any Federal, State or other agencies. I do wash off the cuttings well prior to wrapping and boxing and anything which looks odd, doesn't go into the box. The only exceptions to receiving things in excellent shape were due to the person sending them not protecting them sufficiently, so they dried out while in transit. Otherwise, seeds, cuttings, rooted (but barerooted without soil) material has traveled both directions every year, for many years, without issue. Kim

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 2:18AM
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Thanks, Kim. No, I never had any problems previously, either.
I only had one complaint of a Lady Hillington that died & the swapper expressed surprise that I hadn't shipped it potted. She was very polite & I had another to send, which I believe must have done alright.
I shipped priority, on Monday mornings & notified beforehand by e-mail to make sure the recipient would be home at the expected arrival time.

But it's been awhile, & it seems like there are more restrictive laws. Glad to hear your good experiences.
(And if my state thinks I'm gonna give up my pilgrimages to Chamblees, many counties away, well, dream on. LOL)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 9:45PM
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i buy plants online all the time, they come shipped with soil and there is no problem.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:31AM
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To be legally shipped, plants grow "in soil" must be in a soil less mix and never grown ON the ground. Mail order nurseries who are appropriately licensed to ship potted plants are regularly inspected and are aware of the restrictions. The theory is, if the pot sits on the ground, it is more likely to be invaded by insects they don't want spread around outside their native areas. Soil borne diseases can also be spread by pot to ground contact. Kim

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 4:15AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

One time I pulled up some perennials from the dirt, and wrapped them in plastic bags. Put them into a small box and sent to my Mom in Michigan - No problem whatsoever. I can see insects got transported if it's a large pot, but if it's just a cutting, or bare-root wrapped in moist towels, there's very little chance of insects.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 4:04PM
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