Nursery Services Program

The MISSION of the Nursery Program is to prevent the introduction and spread of agricultural pests through nursery stock and protect agriculture and the consumer against economic losses resulting from the sale of inferior, defective, or pest-infested nursery stock.


  • License sellers of nursery stock in California.
  • Coordinate the nursery regulatory and inspection activities performed by the county agricultural commissioners.
  • Provide the agricultural industry with registration and certification services for plant materials.

License to Sell Nursery Stock

A License to Sell Nursery Stock is required for any person who sells plants for planting, propagation, or ornamentation in California. The sale of nursery stock without a valid license is a violation of California Food and Agricultural Code § 6721. To find out more information, please contact the Nursery, Seed, & Cotton Program or your local County Agricultural Commissioner.

Nursery Regulatory and Inspection Activities

Supported by nursery license and acreage fees, nursery regulatory activities conducted by the county agricultural commissioners and their staffs are an integral part of the State's agricultural pest prevention system. Nursery stock is the highest risk pathway for the movement of plant pests worldwide. Maintaining a system of clean, healthy nursery stock is essential to the protection of California's agriculture and environment.

Plant Registration and Certification Services

The Nursery, Seed, & Cotton Program provides voluntary registration and certification services for the following: avocado, deciduous fruit and nut trees, seed garlic, grapevines, pome fruit trees, and strawberry nursery stock.

Participation in the Citrus Nursery Stock Pest Cleanliness Program is mandatory for anyone who wishes to collect and use citrus propagative materials such as budwood and seed.

Nursery stock intended for farm planting must meet the Nematode Certification requirements in order to be considered commercially clean and eligible for sale and planting in California.

California Nursery Advisory Board

The mission of the California Nursery Advisory Board (NAB) is to grow and maintain a strong relationship between CDFA and the nursery industry in order to secure the industry's future.

First established as an ad hoc committee in 2013, and later codified by Senate Bill 335 (Chapter 234, Statutes of 2017), the NAB advises and makes recommendations to CDFA on matters relating to nurseries and nursery stock. The NAB is comprised of 12 voting members representing licensed Californian nurseries, as well as ex officio nonvoting members representing the county agricultural commissioners, the University of California, and other groups affiliated with the nursery industry.