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View Full Version : Live plant Dealer License?????


drsogr
04-06-2005, 10:43 PM
I went to the John Deere Landscapes here in KS, they only sale wholesale. They told me to buy anything there I had to buy a Live Plant Dealers License from the state. Has anyone heard of such a thing...what is the license for? Is it worth getting to buy plants and such wholesale? It cost $55.00. I went there because I need to buy 4 trees and 13 bushes and didn't want to go through Lowes.

Thanks,
Derek

Wolfie's L&L
04-06-2005, 10:54 PM
Hmm sounds a bit fishy to me...I'd check into it more at the dealer and see why you have to have a special license to purchase there.

Jason

TScapes
04-07-2005, 12:04 AM
I went to the John Deere Landscapes here in KS, they only sale wholesale. They told me to buy anything there I had to buy a Live Plant Dealers License from the state. Has anyone heard of such a thing...what is the license for? Is it worth getting to buy plants and such wholesale? It cost $55.00. I went there because I need to buy 4 trees and 13 bushes and didn't want to go through Lowes.

Thanks,
Derek

Here in Tennessee, it is mandated as well. Although our state charges us $200 per year. So far it is not enforced or well publicized that good. I have done this for the last 6 years here in TN and am just now finding out about it, though the Tenn Dept of Ag says they made it a policy in 1997. Basically, it is a way the state ag dept can get you to fund their budget! Actually, it is used here to regulate installations and track plants should fire ants or other insect infestations start to migrate into areas where they are not currently present. You have to provide a list of all distributors that you purchase your plants at. But again, it is not really forced here even though my trucks all have a copy of ours (just to stay legal).

Jason Rose
04-07-2005, 12:28 AM
Humm, that is interesting about the license... I'm in hutchinson and have thought about going over there to see john deere about plants for my own lawn as well as fertilizer and chemicals. I have a lawn customer here that somehow has a connection with the john deere office and they can buy from there at a huge discount. I know she has no liscense, just a homeowner.

55 bucks is not too bad for the deal though. from what I hear they are much cheaper than most places and there is a huge selection. But I don't really know, never seen the place yet...

Deric; if you don't mind sending me a pm, or just post on here if you find out more info about it and john deere itself. I have a suspicion there is a minimum order with them, or even a minimum quantity you can buy at a time. I kinda heard they are very particular about who they sell too so they keep the joe blow's out.

NickN
04-07-2005, 10:40 AM
Have to have it here in Alabama also.It's part of the SLP Landscaping certification requirements.It's basically certifying you as a nursery dealer/grower.Gotta purchase stickers for plants also.Each one labeled with its own serial number saying that it "passed" inspection.Of course,no one comes and inspects them,they just sell a sticker.It's all about the money,as with most things government is involved in.

Randy Scott
04-07-2005, 12:05 PM
Same in Wisconsin for some of the nurseries we use. They should all be asking for it, but I know they don't. Ours is based off dollar amount of plant sales. Just another way for the state to get their money. Another law with no enforcement. Idiots.

Grassmechanic
04-07-2005, 03:58 PM
In Michigan, it is called a "Nurseryman's License".

DGM
04-07-2005, 04:17 PM
Have to have it here in GA. also and it is not to just to be able to buy wholesale if you install plants and get paid to do it, just like everything else you have to have a license. It is part of a Plant Protection program with the department of Agriculture. States have a big book of who is licensed to grow and dealers of live plants (if you buy and install them for a fee you are a dealer) and if someone reports you (or you get checked) for installing plants without a license there is a big fine.

drsogr
04-07-2005, 08:20 PM
It seems like the less you know...the better off you are. They have a license and permit for everything nowadays! I plan on getting a license...what ever it takes to make me legit. The government is just making it easier to make the non legit companies out bid the legit companies.

hollywood
04-07-2005, 08:54 PM
In MD, contractors that sell nursery stock are required to have a Plant Dealers License. We have been asked for our license number more and more.

MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC
04-08-2005, 02:30 AM
Yeah similar thing in MI. Its an annual $100 license to buy wholesale at any landscape nursery.

Williams Services
04-08-2005, 09:23 AM
DGM - how is it part of a plant protection program when all that happens is Marty fines you if you don't have it? It's one of the most transparent things I've ever seen - pay us $50 and we''l let you stick these pansies and hollies in the ground.

NickN
04-08-2005, 11:02 AM
Because,at least in Alabama,you are required to label your plants with an individual serial number,bought of course,from the Dept of Ag.If the Dept of Ag finds that there is a problem with a certain plant or grower,they have a list of the serial numbers that were issued to each licensed business.We are "supposed" to keep a list of the serial number/plant id,in case that situation arises.Of course,ya gotta buy new serial numbers every year.
Another big thing around here is,the wholesale nurseries have started selling to the public AT WHOLESALE PRICES to get more business.Yep,anyone can drive up to the "wholesale only" nursery and purchase plants for the same price we pay for them.Kinda like eating your own,IMHO.They just charge them sales tax on top of the wholesale price.

mommacutz
04-08-2005, 10:31 PM
Hmmmmm, anyone know what it is in Florida. I can't find any info on the website I guess I will start calling on Monday. If that is the case they really know how to get you. You can't even put down weed and feed without a liscence here I am told. I'm going to check that out too!

drsogr
04-09-2005, 12:46 AM
Well I went there today and got my license...and then got some plants. There prices are compareable to Lowes and Home Depot. The quality is definitely nursery quality instead. So basically I am getting Nursery quality at discount store prices. Is this about what everone is paying?

I think I paid $14.50 a piece for Boxwoods.

I paid $18.00 for burning bushes.

I paid $4.55 for 1 gallon Liriope.

mommacutz
04-09-2005, 12:22 PM
Well I went there today and got my license...and then got some plants. There prices are compareable to Lowes and Home Depot. The quality is definitely nursery quality instead. So basically I am getting Nursery quality at discount store prices. Is this about what everone is paying?

I think I paid $14.50 a piece for Boxwoods.

I paid $18.00 for burning bushes.

I paid $4.55 for 1 gallon Liriope.
That's kind of on the expensive side. 1 gallon liriope is only 1.88 at the nursery we use. What size boxwoods?

Ric
04-09-2005, 01:47 PM
Hmmmmm, anyone know what it is in Florida. I can't find any info on the website I guess I will start calling on Monday. If that is the case they really know how to get you. You can't even put down weed and feed without a liscence here I am told. I'm going to check that out too!


mommacutz

Florida calls it a Plant Stock Dealers License and you need to contact the DACS Bureau of Complaisances. There are several categories. Wholesale and Retail licenses are the main ones. You will also need a retail tax collecting stamp to resell any plants. However with a wholesale license you can pay tax on purchases and install the plants without collecting tax. You will also need a holding yard for the wholesale license which will be inspected for Plant health, the same as a retail licenses. This can be simply an area where you have irrigation set up and hold plants for a short period. There is no size requirement to my knowledge

Agriculture bond is also required if you pay for purchases with a check or credit card. This bond must be equal to your highest purchase in any one month in a years time. Cash Purchases are not subject to a bond.

Now if you go through all this licensing you may find you can not get any better pricing on material because of it. It will help if you want to write a check for purchases but First time buyer normally have to pay cash any way.

Therefore I suggest you get hooked up with a good nursery or two in your area to buy from. Let them chase plants down for you. Yes you will pay for this conveniences. But if you are pricing your work high enough it is worth the small added cost.

BTW I make my living now as a wholesale retail Nursery. Landscapers like your self will call, fax or e-mail in orders in for jobs they have. It is my job to get the best quality plants together for them. In your case of 13 plants and 4 trees I would try and have extra plants ready for you to pick from. You would get them early the morning of install by pulling into my nursery sold items section and only have to load the material needed and be on your way. Should you need more plants to match the ones you already have hopeful I would have them for you already. Yes you pay extra for this, or about the same as Home Depot. But the Hassle free material is worth the small amount of money that you might of saved. Chasing after plants can be very frustrating and time consuming. Use that time to sell or do work. Not chase plants. On a good customer I will chase plants that I know are not going to be profitable to resell. But I must do it for that good customer, to keep his business.

mommacutz
04-10-2005, 10:05 AM
Thanks a lot for the info. That lets me know I really need to get more educated. We are basically a lawn care company. I think we have only done 1 landscaped job for a customer ( 40 Holly bushes, 28 giant evergreens, 2 sago palms, 2 washingtonian palms and 10 yards of red rock). I always thought my lco license should cover this. I had better get on the ball, because we don't want any trouble. Dumb question though, we do a lot of new sod installs do we need extra licensing for that as well. I sure hope not.

drsogr
04-10-2005, 10:19 AM
Thanks a lot for the info. That lets me know I really need to get more educated. We are basically a lawn care company. I think we have only done 1 landscaped job for a customer ( 40 Holly bushes, 28 giant evergreens, 2 sago palms, 2 washingtonian palms and 10 yards of red rock). I always thought my lco license should cover this. I had better get on the ball, because we don't want any trouble. Dumb question though, we do a lot of new sod installs do we need extra licensing for that as well. I sure hope not.

Isn't it nice how your just suppose to know all of the licenses your business is suppose to have? It amazes me from day to day how under licensed I am. Got to love our government.

drsogr
04-10-2005, 10:24 AM
mommacutz

Florida calls it a Plant Stock Dealers License and you need to contact the DACS Bureau of Complaisances. There are several categories. Wholesale and Retail licenses are the main ones. You will also need a retail tax collecting stamp to resell any plants. However with a wholesale license you can pay tax on purchases and install the plants without collecting tax. You will also need a holding yard for the wholesale license which will be inspected for Plant health, the same as a retail licenses. This can be simply an area where you have irrigation set up and hold plants for a short period. There is no size requirement to my knowledge

Agriculture bond is also required if you pay for purchases with a check or credit card. This bond must be equal to your highest purchase in any one month in a years time. Cash Purchases are not subject to a bond.

Now if you go through all this licensing you may find you can not get any better pricing on material because of it. It will help if you want to write a check for purchases but First time buyer normally have to pay cash any way.

Therefore I suggest you get hooked up with a good nursery or two in your area to buy from. Let them chase plants down for you. Yes you will pay for this conveniences. But if you are pricing your work high enough it is worth the small added cost.

BTW I make my living now as a wholesale retail Nursery. Landscapers like your self will call, fax or e-mail in orders in for jobs they have. It is my job to get the best quality plants together for them. In your case of 13 plants and 4 trees I would try and have extra plants ready for you to pick from. You would get them early the morning of install by pulling into my nursery sold items section and only have to load the material needed and be on your way. Should you need more plants to match the ones you already have hopeful I would have them for you already. Yes you pay extra for this, or about the same as Home Depot. But the Hassle free material is worth the small amount of money that you might of saved. Chasing after plants can be very frustrating and time consuming. Use that time to sell or do work. Not chase plants. On a good customer I will chase plants that I know are not going to be profitable to resell. But I must do it for that good customer, to keep his business.

Yeah I can definitely tell that I am going to save a lot of time, by going to the nursery dealer. Man I was in and out so fast, my head was spinning. I didn't have to wait for granma's to get their carts out of the way...or wait for someone to ask questions about how well their bradford pear will grow if they plant it in a shady area. Anyway...that aspect is really nice. I am getting better quality stuff than home depot or Lowes. While I was there, there was a lot of big name landscapers driving in and out of the place. Makes me feel confident, that this is where I should be going.

Ric
04-10-2005, 11:34 AM
Dumb question though, we do a lot of new sod installs do we need extra licensing for that as well. I sure hope not.

mommacutz

There can be good money, but a lot of hard work in SOD replacement. New construction Sod is very competitive and not a big margin. Just larger volume of work with New Construction. No special Licenses is required to lay Sod. However check with your County about Building permits for Swale or drainage areas. Should you lay Sod in a Drainage area and it should happen to back up the water and cause any type of Flooding, You can be liable. The Building Permit will include a county inspector who will survey the drainage line and give you cut marks to follow when grading that area. Once your job passes inspection, you are free from Liability.

Ok The BIGGIE with both Landscape and Sod is WORKER COMP INSURANCE. Under the New Florida Law of 1/01/04 You must have Worker Comp insurance to do any Construction. Landscape replacement so much as only one plant is considered Construction. The same with Sod. The Only way around this is to incorporate and file exemptions For only two possibly three of the owner of that Corporation. All employees and self employed people must have Worker Comp Insurance in effect for them.

I have a horror story about being stopped by a State training officer for Worker Comp and Her two Trainees. I think you get the Picture. So let me make it a short a story and say it cost me dearly and I already had worker comp insurance.

Let me also get on my soap box just a step or two higher. Once you start to get all the proper licenses, you come under more inspections and are targeted by all these inspectors. They must do so many each month and those who names and addresses that are registered with the state are easy to find. Therefore You can get really mad at the Guys who seem to get away with murder all the time. Some of them do big jobs right on the main roads, while the poor legal guys get nailed on the back streets or even inside gated Communities.

NickN
04-10-2005, 01:30 PM
<i>Dumb question though, we do a lot of new sod installs do we need extra licensing for that as well. I sure hope not.</i>
Since grass is a plant,in Alabama,you must be state certified to install sod.Can't plant a seed for money without being certified.I'll assume since you are mowing only,you're not certified.You'll have to take a test given by the state if Florida requires this also.Check your local dept of agriculture laws to find out.

Garth
04-10-2005, 01:32 PM
The CAN test here used to cost $300 just to take the test. I let mine lapse a few years ago when I got out of the nursery business. The California Association of Nurserymen is more a professional organization than one required to sell plants. CAN certification shows that you have passed and are considered a professional. The identification of dried up twigs was the hardest part of that test but I still pulled a 80%. Agricultural commissioners and the Cooperative Extension take care of plants being sold that come from outside the state or country.

Garth
04-10-2005, 01:42 PM
Well I went there today and got my license...and then got some plants. There prices are compareable to Lowes and Home Depot. The quality is definitely nursery quality instead. So basically I am getting Nursery quality at discount store prices. Is this about what everone is paying?

I think I paid $14.50 a piece for Boxwoods.

I paid $18.00 for burning bushes.

I paid $4.55 for 1 gallon Liriope.
If that's what your paying for "wholesale", Dude, you got raped. At the nursery I go to, I pay $8.55/ 5 gal Buxus microphylla japonica and $2.88/ 1 gal Liriope muscari. And that's just with my contractor's discount. My friend, Jim, gets a much better rate because he's an employee. I'd find a real nursery, if I were you.

Ric
04-10-2005, 02:06 PM
The identification of dried up twigs was the hardest part of that test

Garth

That can be hard even when you have an idea of what it was. It takes a lot of experience of knowing bark types. Of course the next question from the home owner is. "What killed It?" :D

mommacutz

Florida Doesn't require a Installers License for Residential. You could do a Million dollar job on a single family home with only a Occupational License and Worker Comp insurance. However once it is considered a Commercial building is does require a Registered Commercial Landscapers License to replace one plant. This may vary from county to county.

In Florida There are Two main types of Licenses. Certified and Registered. Certifications are issued by the state after testing. Registrations are issued after testing by the individual counties. There are State Block test that are given by most counties for Registered Licensing. These Block tests are generally accepted by all other counties. Now a Certified Pest Control Operator can work any where in the off his Certification. But a Registered Irrigation contract would need licensing in each county and have to pay the licensing fee in that county. There are no Registered Pesticide operator and no certified Irrigation contractors so each trade or area of licensing is different.

Now maybe this thread has opened the eyes of those who think the Green Industry is not totally a professional Industry. The truth is anyone can cut grass. But that is low man on the ladder as far as the real green industry goes. True it can be a very profitable low man on the ladder. But once you start up that ladder there are some real issues to deal with.

Ric
04-10-2005, 02:18 PM
If that's what your paying for "wholesale", Dude, you got raped. At the nursery I go to, I pay $8.55/ 5 gal Buxus microphylla japonica and $2.88/ 1 gal Liriope muscari. And that's just with my contractor's discount. My friend, Jim, gets a much better rate because he's an employee. I'd find a real nursery, if I were you.


Garth

You don't want know what I pay for those same plants here in Florida. But I would love to get the prices you are paying even retail let alone wholesale. But then I am buying in quantity.

A grower two towns North of me grows House plant and ships them to Calf. He must be inspected every step of the way in order to ship them into the state of Calf. I know your rules and regulation are much tougher than ours. Most of your state testing is also some of the toughest in the nation. However Fla. Pesticide test still remains the # 1 hardest pesticide test in the nation followed by Calf.

mommacutz
04-10-2005, 10:59 PM
Isn't it nice how your just suppose to know all of the licenses your business is suppose to have? It amazes me from day to day how under licensed I am. Got to love our government.
It's actually very scary because I called downtown to ask what all I needed and I thought I was covered but I see I am not. Forgot liablility insurance you really need ignorance insurance. LOL!

Garth
04-11-2005, 02:01 PM
Garth

You don't want know what I pay for those same plants here in Florida. But I would love to get the prices you are paying even retail let alone wholesale. But then I am buying in quantity.

A grower two towns North of me grows House plant and ships them to Calf. He must be inspected every step of the way in order to ship them into the state of Calf. I know your rules and regulation are much tougher than ours. Most of your state testing is also some of the toughest in the nation. However Fla. Pesticide test still remains the # 1 hardest pesticide test in the nation followed by Calf.
After hearing from a number of colleagues in Florida, I have great respect for anyone with a pesticide license in that state. A right bugger they said it was. As far as the prices we pay for landscape plants, that is by piece. We get another 10% off if we buy 20 or more. I use to breed plants for increased flowering and disease resistance but dealt with the lab work. I shant bore you with a discussion on chromosomes, genomic DNA, or number of scorable RAPD bands of the genus Rosa for selected OP primers.LOL :D

Ric
04-11-2005, 02:26 PM
After hearing from a number of colleagues in Florida, I have great respect for anyone with a pesticide license in that state. A right bugger they said it was. As far as the prices we pay for landscape plants, that is by piece. We get another 10% off if we buy 20 or more. I use to breed plants for increased flowering and disease resistance but dealt with the lab work. I shant bore you with a discussion on chromosomes, genomic DNA, or number of scorable RAPD bands of the genus Rosa for selected OP primers.LOL :D


Garth

I am sure you would lose me in such a discussion. I am afraid I only know how most plants in my area express them selfs and not how to change what mother nature has given them. I only know the letters DNA from microbiology and at the time was having a hard time understanding how I would use that information. I still don't use what little knowledge I have on the subject. However I believe it has something to do with Mendel and a lot of hybrid Beans. :D

mommacutz
04-12-2005, 10:06 AM
[QUOTE=Ric]Garth

Where do you go to find this info? Thanks by the way you seem to be more informed than the employees for the state and county. I really love this website.

mommacutz

Florida Doesn't require a Installers License for Residential. You could do a Million dollar job on a single family home with only a Occupational License and Worker Comp insurance. However once it is considered a Commercial building is does require a Registered Commercial Landscapers License to replace one plant. This may vary from county to county.

Ric
04-12-2005, 11:46 AM
mommacutz

Go to your code enforcement office for your county and talk to a code enforcement officer. They will keep you straight. Each county will have different code laws. Just an ex sample of different codes might be the very types of trees and plants you may plant with in your county. Ficus Trees can not be planted in my county but are Planted all over Dade & Broward County.

Where do I find this information??? I guess just from being in the business and asking questions about what is legal. No State employees are working for wages and do not know squat.