2001, A year of big changes in landscape care.


As you may or may not be aware, on August 21 2000, Governor Pataki signed the Neighbor Notification Law. This law goes into effect on January 1 2001. Because of this law, you can expect ...

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As you may or may not be aware, on August 21 2000, Governor Pataki signed the Neighbor Notification Law. This law goes into effect on January 1 2001. Because of this law, you can expect to see significant increases in the costs of applications and overall care of your property.

This law requires all landscape care professionals, whether it's lawn or tree care, to notify all neighbors with abutting properties (abutting is defined as sharing a common border) at least 48 hrs in advance of any pesticide application. This notification must be done in writing and must contain the address of the property being treated, the name, address, telephone number, and business registration of the applying company, the specific date the application is to be done and 2 alternate dates for inclement weather, the product names and EPA registration numbers of the materials being applied and a prominent warning statement and list of precautions to take.

This law also effects the do-it yourself homeowner. You will be required to post signs along the edges of your property warning that pesticides were applied.

This law was strenuously opposed in Albany by all the parties that it effects. The professional applicators opposed it because it adds another burden onto an already heavily regulated and scrutinized industry, and will drive some companies out of business. The DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation- the state bureau in charge of regulating pesticide usage) opposed it saying that it is a unenforceable law and went so far as to say that they will not actively pursue enforcement unless there is a major case. They are putting the burden of enforcement on the individual counties that adapt this law to hire and train inspectors to enforce this law. And finally the "environmentalists" opposed it because it doesn't go far enough in their eyes to shut down this multi-million dollar, taxpaying industry.

As the title of this article says, 2001 will mark big changes in the way your landscape are cared for. Some few companies are raising their prices by as much as 25% to cover the costs of gathering neighbors addresses, not only the next door and rear neighbor, but also the neighbors of the rear neighbors since they will need to be notified as well. This increase will also cover the costs of hiring an outside mailing house to make sure that the required postcards are mailed at least a week in advance to comply with the new law.

The majority of the landscape companies will be utilizing materials that the DEC and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have classified as exempt from this law. The problem with these materials is that they have a very limited spectrum of insects they can effectively control and do not last very long in the environment. These materials can only be used when insects are present, and then only when the insects are in certain growth stages. As an example, the east end had a devastating outbreak of Gypsy moth caterpillars this year. The populations will be higher next year and will be moving westward.

The only material that is on the exempt list that will control Gypsy moths is a product called Foray. This is a BT (Baciilus thuringiensis), a naturally derived bacteria that acts as a stomach poison when the caterpillars are small, once they grow beyond the second or third instar, the bacteria has little to no effect on them. (I don't need to tell you that if the outbreak on the east end isn't controlled, we will be seeing them in Nassau County again within three years).

The cost of these exempt materials will force a 10% to 20% increase in application prices as well and the companies will not be able to guarantee their work.

If you want any further information on the Neighbor Notification Law, you can visit


or you can E-mail me at


or give my office a call at 631-698-4900 or 516-496-7096 and we will be happy to answer your questions.