Storage and Display of Nursery Stock

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 in Regulations

The improper storage and display of nursery stock at retail locations throughout the State of Iowa has become more apparent over the past couple years primarily due to the expansion of “parking lot” garden centers not being able to provide adequate facilities. As a result, nursery stock is being improperly displayed on the hard surfaces of parking lots as required by Departmental regulations.

In Iowa, nursery stock is defined as hardy, cultivated or wild woody plants, such as trees, evergreens, shrubs and vines, and small fruits such as strawberries and raspberries.

The storage and display of nursery stock on hard surfaces (concrete or asphalt) poses stress and the potential loss of viability of plant material. Such negative impacts frequently go unnoticed until after the plant material makes its way to the consumer’s landscapes and thereafter.

Nursery Stock Dealers displaying nursery stock for sale or distribution are required to abide by the Storage and Display Standards established by Iowa Administrative Code and subsequent Administration Rules. See partial listing details below.

Administrative Rules from Code of Iowa 177A:

These regulations apply to all Iowa Nursery Stock Dealers and Growers, and will be enforced by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship (IDALS) anytime nursery stock is present.

Containerized nursery stock can be buffered with a minimum of two inches of mulch measured from the bottom of the container or protected from hard surfaces with the use of pallets or structures which raise nursery stock up and off the hard surfaces. Such efforts eliminate the plants direct exposure to hard surfaces and thus meet the storage and display conditions.

Please plan accordingly for the proper storage and display of your nursery stock. If you have any questions, please contact our office at (515)725-1470.

Iowa Laboratory Facility ι  2230 S. Ankeny Boulevard ι  Ankeny, Iowa  50023
515-725-1470 ι  [email protected]
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

21—46.11(177A) Storage and display. All nursery stock offered for sale or distribution shall be stored and displayed as follows:

46.11(1) Balled and burlapped stock shall be kept moist at all times and shall be kept in sawdust, shingle tow, peat, sphagnum moss or other moisture-holding material not toxic to plants, of sufficient depth to cover the top of the ball of earth.

46.11(5) Nursery stock offered for sale or movement at locations with hard surfaced areas, such as concrete or asphalt parking lots, must not be in constant, direct contact with the hard surfaced area; but must be so displayed that the roots of the stock are protected from excessive heat, drying, or other adverse conditions associated with contact from hard surfaced areas.


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