Wide planting hole; planting depth, tree, root ball, balled and burlapped, measure
Image by Nina Bassuk

Commercial Horticulture

SBA and Treasury Announce New PPP EZ Forgiveness Application

Updated June 18th

From the SBA: PPP forgiveness applications, including the new EZ application, along with corresponding updates to the rules implementing the PPP Flexibility Act. Deadline for Application June 30th.

The SBA has re-opened its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program to non-agricultural businesses. This means that independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers are eligible to receive a $1,000 grant that does not have to be repaid. Small businesses and agricultural businesses also may apply for the grant, equal to $1,000 per employee of the business up to a maximum of $10,000.

Governor Cuomo has outlined a plan to reopen New York State: NY Forward. 

The plan focuses on getting people back to work and easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus or overwhelming the hospital system. New York will reopen on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health as businesses reopen.

Learn more about New York's reopening plan Phase 1

And read the specifics from the NYS Department of Ag and Markets on agricultural industries.

Begin Excerpt: Updated June 1st, 2020


  • Horticulture businesses, including greenhouse operations, nurseries, sod farms, and arborists, are now permitted to reopen statewide, in all regions. Please read the interim guidance for horticulture businesses.
  • Landscaping is open statewide; permissible activities have been expanded to include the care and planting of grasses, sod, plants, shrubs, and trees and the mulching, trimming, and removal of these items for disease, safety, and public health purposes.
    • Transportation of equipment and materials necessary to meet any of the above functions and irrigation to maintain plant health is permissible.
  • Gardening is open statewide; permissible activities include the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, herbs, fruit, trees, shrubs, etc., at home and community settings and locations.
  • Horticulture and landscaping businesses must follow the Non-Food Related Agriculture Summary Guidelines and Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines for Non-food Agriculture.

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Commercial Horticulture is Agriculture

Commercial horticulture is the science, art, and business of cultivating ornamental plants. This includes arboriculture (the care of trees), interior-scaping, landscape and turf grass installation and maintenance, and includes the production of related plant material in nurseries, fields and greenhouses.

Well-designed, healthy landscapes that are carefully maintained conserve soil, protect water quality and prevent nutrient run-off. Responsible production practices, both in the greenhouse and in the field ensure that growers protect those same resources.

The commercial horticulture program links green-industry professionals with Cornell University faculty and regional specialists. Our educators bring you up to date research-based information and offer programs where professionals can earn continuing education credits. We'll help you navigate your way to professional certification programs like the NYS DEC pesticide certification program or the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certification.


Jennifer Lerner
Senior Resource Educator
845-278-6738 ext. 216

Last updated June 18, 2020