Selling plants

I’m looking for an excuse to go outside more often so I was thinking about starting a small tree nursery. if I am going to do this I want to do it right so I have a few questions to ask (I’m having trouble getting them answered with a google search).

how do I deal with patented plants? I know that it’s illegal to clone them but if I buy a patented variety in bulk and it clearly says I am paying a royalty for them, can I resell them and not worry about the royalty again?

what about diseases and viruses? for example, two sources mention that there are roughly 60 different grape viruses. how are nurseries suppose to keep tract of all of them? I take it they don’t. Is it correct to assume that they only worry about a few of the most dangerous, like crown gall for grapes and fireblight for certain Rosaceae species?

Patented plants are easy. Just make sure you keep all purchase and sales receipts. That way if anybody ever asks, you can show that you only sold as many as you purchased.

Most states require you to have a nursery permit, but there are usually exemptions (sometimes fee exemptions, sometimes complete exemptions) depending on the amount you sell.

It varies quite a bit. In California you’ll need at a minimum a sellers permit from BOE and a limited nursery license. If you intend to ship plants from a California county or quarantine zone elsewhere then depending what you’re shipping you’ll need at a minimum a nursery stock license and either a “pesticide private applicator” license or hire a vendor that services nurseries. The most straightforward method in CA to determine what you need is to visit your County Ag office and tell them what you intend to sell and where.

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the exemption in WI is if you sell less than $250 worth. I’ll need a seller’s permit, a nursery dealer license, and a eventually nursery grower license as well. I’ll probably have to do some licensing nonsense for officially starting a business too, I haven’t looked into that much yet tho. on the main WI DoA page they talk about the gypsy moth quarantine but I only plan on selling in my county for now until I figure all of this stuff out.

Selling in the same county where they are grown in makes things much simpler than shipping them elsewhere. Many farmer’s markets require that you certify that you are the grower, which requires an inspection by the county ag dept. A nursery license and business license are probably what you need to start, both around $150. Realize though that you cannot apply any pesticide to your products that is from Home Depot; you’ll need to get them from a commercial supplier, and keep records of what you use; even Round-Up or dormant oil, and submit a Pesticide Use Report monthly. Talking to the County Ag is indeed the first step, I find them human and most helpful and sympathetic.