A Plant Importer's story

clayton3120 clayton3120 clayton3120@cablespeed.com
Sat, 23 Feb 2013 19:36:11 PST
For what it's worth, when I would go to England on plant buying
procurements, I always had the English Inspector canvass the plants I
purchased, after meticulously washing the soil from rootballs, packing in
vermiculite, and labeling.   I paid the fee requested.   With objection
from the English Inspector  , he already  knew  when the plants reached
American soil, his work would be ignored, as though his inspection would be
worthless. It was.    When I reached Seatac Airport, I declared the plants
 and they dissappeared for 4-5 days for further inspection .   No problem.
Aphis had their own criterion, and importers must adhere. I did, knowing
all the while that every  day the plants were in USDA hands, the more
likely they wouldn't survive the torture they had undergone  in preparation
to be admitted to their new environment. Luckily, I knew how to handle the
plants under such stress, and I would lose only  around 20% of what I
imported. Special permits for ,,, say,,, Dianthus and Chrysanthemums
 required on site inspections , to which I gladly complied.
After further importations, I no longer requested English inspections, as
we all knew , it was worthless .
What a terrible shame countries don't co-operate, as the English inspector
told me they were extremely concerned about the various problems  that
could occur  from moving plants from country to country.  At least, for
developed countries, they could agree on  what the issues /problems could
be , and help each other accordingly, as well as TRUST each other's
qualifications. Part of it is just a matter of communicating to each other.
I stopped importing.  It  became too expensive,disheartening, and
discouraging.   When one reviews a foreign plant/seed list , knowing the
nursery will not  ship to our continent, you have to accept the
limitations, and,,, pretty much sulk  at being a gardener/ plant enthusiast
 on the wrong continent.  You read , and see whats available elsewhere
 versus what we have here and it's pretty sad.    In the 21st century,
you'd think such limitations would've been overcome, but that is naive. I
can't imagine their is any plant/ bulb enthusiast here who hasn't  balked
at a list/ catalogue, knowing full well what you see read can only be a
I can't help wondering if some type of Plant Importing certification to
qualified individuals who have undergone  USDA scrutiny   would make sense
of the issue.  You know, sort of like acquiring a pesticide applicators
license.   A course, and certification leading to eased restrictions to
those qualified.
Preventing diseases  and pests  are extremely important.... but, their's
GOT to be a way.
Rick K

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