Providing outstanding service to Minnesota's nursery and export industries.
Nursery certification and plant regulation

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is responsible for the administration of the Nursery Law (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 18H) the purpose of which is to prevent the introduction into and the dissemination within the state of harmful plant pests. To accomplish this, nursery stock produced for sale must be inspected annually and certified free of harmful plant pests. Stock originating outside Minnesota must be officially certified under all applicable quarantines at origin.

The inspection and certification program provides a vital service to the nursery industry and protects consumers from purchasing problems. Annual inspections serve to reduce losses to harmful pests as problems are detected and treated before they can cause more serious damage. The certified stock can move freely within the United States and special certificates are issued for export. A standard of quality is maintained to assure the industry as well as consumers that the product they are purchasing is viable and in a healthy condition.
Nursery Law - Minnesota 2003 Laws, Chapter 128, Article 5

Persons selling nursery stock in Minnesota must have a valid Minnesota nursery stock dealer or nursery stock grower certificate. They must also sell only certified nursery stock and provide documents to verify certification of stock offered for sale.

Nursery Stock

Nursery stock means a plant intended for planting or propagation and includes but not limited to:

  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Vines
  • Perennials
  • Biennials
  • Grafts
  • Cuttings
  • Buds

Nursery Stock Does Not Include:

  • Field and Forage Crops;
  • Seeds of Grasses, cereal grains, vegetable crops, and flowers;
  • Vegetable plants, vegetable bulbs, or vegetable tubers;
  • Cut flowers, unless stems or other portions are intended for propagation;
  • Annuals
  • Christmas trees;
  • Sod is also not nursery stock but may be inspected for export as needed.

Choosing Your Certificate

  • You purchase more than half (50%) of the nursery stock you will sell during the calendar year.
    • New applicant fee for your first year is $225.00. Renewal fees will be based upon your gross sales of nursery stock from the previous year. NOTE: A separate certificate is needed for each sales location.
  • You are a landscaper, broker, or tree spade operator.
    • Trees moved by a tree spade must be inspected and certified before they are moved.
  • You grow more than half (50%) of the nursery stock you will sell.
    • The fee is based on the number of acres in nursery stock production. All stock must be inspected before sale. Only one certificate is required for multiple growing sites and allows only one sales site. Contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to schedule an early inspection if needed. Only stock growing on the acres applied for will be inspected and if certified, eligible for sale.
  • You grow and sell only annual or indoor ornamental plants. If you will ship these plants outside Minnesota, contact the MDA to assure proper certification for destination state or country.
  • You conduct occasional sales. An individual (not a business of any size) may offer nursery stock for sale and be exempt from the requirement to obtain a nursery stock dealer certificate only if ALL of the following conditions are met:
    • The gross sales of all nursery stock in a calendar year do not exceed $1,000; and,
    • All nursery stock sold or distributed by the individual is intended for planting in Minnesota; and, All nursery stock purchased or procured for resale or distribution was grown in Minnesota and has been certified by the commissioner; and,
    • The individual conducts sales or distributions of nursery stock on ten or fewer days in a calendar year; and
    • All sales are conducted by an individual, not a business, company, firm, corporation, partnership, association, etc.

Certificate Fees

(1)   Gross sales less than or equal to $5,000 $225
(2)   Gross sales from $5,001 up to $20,000 $250
(3)   Gross sales from $20,001 up to $50,000 $350
(4)   Gross sales from $50,001 up to $75,000 $450
(5)   Gross sales from $75,001 up to $100,000 $600
(6)   Gross sales from $100,001 up to $200,000 $750
(7)   Gross sales from $200,001 up to $300,000 $850
(8)   Gross sales from $300,001 up to $400,000 $1,050
(9)   Gross sales from $400,001 up to $500,000 $1,250
(10)   Gross sales from $501,000 $1,350


(1)   Less than one-half acre $200
(2)   From one-half acre to two acres $250
(3)   Over two acres up to five acres $375
(4)   Over five acres up to ten acres $425
(5)   Over ten acres up to 20 acres $600
(6)   Over 20 acres up to 40 acres $750
(7)   Over 40 acres up to 50 acres $900
(8)   Over 50 acres up to 100 acres $1,300
(9)   Over 100 acres up to 150 acres $1,400
(10)   Over 150 acres up to 200 acres $1,500
(11)   Over 200 acres up to 350 acres $1,600
(12)   Over 350 acres up to 500 acres $1,700
(13)   Over 500 acres $1,700 plus $3 for each additional acre