The sale or distribution of Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii DC, will be illegal in West Virginia beginning July 1, 2020, according to the state Department of Agriculture.
During the 2018 regular legislative session, Japanese barberry was added to the West Virginia “noxious weeds” list as part of an effort to control the invasive plant.
An amendment allowed a phase-in period for existing stock to be depleted, according to Kent Leonhardt, Commissioner of Agriculture.
“Although a popular landscaping option, Japanese barberry is an invasive plant that destroys farm and forested areas," Leonhardt said.
"It was added to the noxious weeds list so we could better control the entry of the plant into our borders."
The sale or distribution of Japanese barberry will be prohibited effective July 1, 2020.
Once the ban goes into effect, nursery inspection personnel will quarantine, and issue stop-sale orders for Japanese barberry when encountered.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has received $100,000 in federal grant dollars to fight the invasive plant in Cacapon State Park.
The barberry plant prefers forest floors, pastures, and other open spaces. In these areas, the plant rapidly takes over the surface and crowds out desirable species much like other invasive plants.
“When the Legislature added the plant to the list, a compromise was struck with plant nurseries to phase in the ban and allow for the sale of any plant in stock,” Leonhardt said.
“The WVDA is working with the Division of Natural Resources to control these plants in various areas. The infestation is already bad, but we are doing everything possible to negate the negative impacts on our land.”
For more information, contact the WVDA Plant Industries Division at 304-558-2212.
W.Va. State U. to host virtual workshop on forest planning
West Virginia State University will host a free online workshop on forest-management planning for West Virginia farmers and landholders on Thursday, June 18, at 4 p.m. “Anyone with woodland on their property will benefit from this session,” said WVSU Extension Agent Kristie Martin. “Join us to learn how you can make the most of your wooded space, whatever your goal.” Read the full story here.
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