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Nursery and Christmas Tree

  • How can I have a plant pest or pathogen identified?Licensees of nurseries and Christmas tree businesses should contact their nursery inspector for assistance in the identification of plant pests or pathogens. The ODA entomology staff do accept identification requests from the general public and their laboratory is located at our Salem office. We encourage the general public to contact the Oregon State University Plant Clinic for disease identification ( The Oregon Department of Forestry (Urban Forestry & Forest Health) specialize in diagnosing tree diseases of common urban and forest species, respectively. Oregon State University Extension publishes The Pacific Northwest Management Handbooks, which are excellent resources on common pest & pathogens in our region ( Please note that your local OSU Extension agent or Master Gardener are also excellent resources for pest & disease identification.
  • I’m interested in growing ginseng. How do I get started?Ginseng is an endangered plant and it is regulated by an international treaty (CITES) to prevent over-harvest. Commercial sales and interstate movement of ginseng require certificates of origin. You can grow ginseng for personal use or direct-to-consumer sales, within the state, without a license. If, however, you want to grow and sell it wholesale, you need a license from the Oregon Department of Agriculture that costs $25 per year. Certificates of origin are supplied to licensees upon request and licensees must report harvest and sales figures, annually. Oregon’s ginseng management program rules are available under OAR 603-060.
  • Importing plants: What is the Notification Rule?Recipients of nursery and Christmas tree stock imported into Oregon from any out-of-state source are required to notify the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Notifications can be made via: Mail: Oregon Department of Agriculture, 635 Capitol Street NE, Suite 100, Salem, Oregon 97301 Fax: 503-986-4786 Email: The notification must be received by the ODA no earlier than two business days before the arrival of the shipment and no later than two days after its arrival. Notification shall include: - Source of plants (Shipper’s contact information) - Recipient’s contact information - Species - Quantity
  • What are the various types of nursery and Christmas tree licenses?The Nursery and Christmas Tree Program issues four types of licenses: retail nursery license, greenhouse/herbaceous plant nursery license, wholesale nursery, and Christmas tree license. The retail nursery license is used by retail dealers, florists, and landscapers who do not grow or propagate plant material but instead sell plant material grown by other nurseries. Individuals growing or propagating plants in only a hothouse or greenhouse should select a greenhouse nursery license. A wholesale nursery is one that propagates or grows plants in the field or in pots and typically sells to other nurseries or landscapers. The wholesale nursery also might have greenhouses and one sales location. Growers of conifers intended for use as cut Christmas-trees must obtain a Christmas tree license.
  • What if my truck filled with nursery products is held at the border?If you have a truck being held at an international border (e.g. Canada) and need assistance, a “Held Export” form must be filled out and faxed to 503-986-4786 or emailed to the ODA at For shipments being held at a state border contact the Nursery and Christmas Tree Program at 503-986-4644.
  • What is a phytosanitary certificate?A phytosanitary certificate is a document issued by a certified state or federal official that verifies that plants have been inspected and are free from pests, pathogens, and invasive weeds of concern to the importing state or country. All applications for certificates must be done online through the PCIT system.
  • What is a plant import permit?A plant import permit is an official document listing requirements and restrictions from the receiving country. Please check with your area horticulturist for requirements. For detailed information, review our import permit information.
  • What is a plant shipping permit?An Oregon shipping permit is a certificate issued by ODA that certifies the plant material is regularly inspected and found free of dangerous pests and diseases. Plant material shipped out of state must be accompanied by a shipping permit.
  • What is PCIT?Phytosanitary Certification Issuance and Tracking, PCIT, is a web-based certification program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). All exporters of nursery and Christmas tree stock are required to use the PCIT system to submit requests for state and federal phytosanitary certificates and other export certificates. For detailed information, review exporting plant material.
  • What is the brown garden snail?The brown garden snail (BGS), Cantareus aspersus (formerly Helix aspersa), is an exotic pest that feeds on a wide variety of plants, including cereals, vegetables, and ornamentals. Native to western Europe and the Mediterranean, BGS has spread throughout the world because of its use as a food source and the movement of infested nursery stock.