Horticulture Now Included in Statewide Reopening

Under the New York Forward plan, Landscaping, Gardening and Horticulture has now been deemed “essential” statewide, as part of a low-risk business that can continue during the pandemic.  This guidance applies to every landscaping or horticulture business, regardless of where their region is in the overall reopening phase.  You can confirm the inclusion of Horticulture as “essential” on this link below:  https://forward.ny.gov/statewide-guidelines

NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has issued guidance specifically for horticulture and landscaping operations.  The link is here:


Horticulture operations are deemed as “horticultural activities include the production, maintenance and sale of vegetable plants, nursery stock, trees, sod, plants at greenhouse and nursery operations and sod farms, and the agribusinesses (i.e. pest, weed, and nutrient management) that support their operations.   Landscaping and gardening, as well as sod farms, are also eligible for reopening under the new guidance, regardless of where their region is on the phased re-opening.

Horticulture operations may now be fully open for business, but MUST follow both the interim guidance linked above and the guidance for non-food agriculture production found here:


Landscaping must also follow the Non-food guidance.

All businesses, regardless of whether or not they have previously been deemed essential or are only now being deemed essential under the “low risk” category, MUST still file a reopening plan that allows for the appropriate employee and public health and safety protections.  The reopening plan template may be  found here:.   https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdfBusinesses can adopt a plan that is more stringent than the guidelines, but may not adopt a plan that is less stringent.  The plan does not need to be sent to the state of NY, but must be available at the place of  business.

Landscapers who engage in construction related work may need to follow additional guidance, and may need to comply with the Phase re-opening depending upon the nature of the construction.  Please consult with the ESDC NY Forwards plan to determine whether the construction related aspect of landscaping businesses is available for reopening.  https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase