We operate a retail garden center where we don’t do a lot of our own propagating. Many of our plants are from wholesale growers who in turn often get their cuttings from a branding company. Apparently there is concern that some growers are propagating plant’s they do not have the right to propagate. According to American Nurseryman, “Starting this fall, nurseries across the country can expect a polite inspection by Plant Watch® representatives to see how they are meeting the requirements of these branded programs. It's well known how expensive it is to establish a plant brand in the landscape and nursery business. Growers who comply with patent and branding requirements are at a disadvantage when infringers undercut prices.” Not being in the wholesale side of things I was wondering how big this problem is. According to American Nurseryman, “In order to support their network of compliant growers, Spring Meadow Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, Conard-Pyle and Plant Development Services have hired Plant Watch® to inspect nurseries, report on their findings, and collect fines where warranted.”
“Plant Watch® started in 2005 and is modeled after COPF in Canada, a well-known monitoring program established in 1964. COPF has been inspecting for Spring Meadow Nursery since 2008, resulting in more than $30,000 in fines collected during 2010 alone.”
I am curious what the $30,000 in fines represents as far as the number of nurseries involved. Is this problem getting better or worse since last year? Are particular plants more likely or not to be illegally propagated?