Knox County Invasive Plant Ordinance

On Tuesday, August 7th, 2018, Knox County made history in Indiana by passing the first terrestrial invasive plant regulation in the state. This ordinance will prevent the sale, trade, and import of 64 different invasive plant species in Knox County. Knox County is ahead of a potential Indiana Department of Natural Resources rule that might go into effect prohibiting 44 species (included in the 64 prohibited in Knox County) throughout the entire state of Indiana. This is a win for all agricultural producers, recreationalists, foresters, environmentalists, and general landowners in Knox County.

Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) covering the ground and climbing the trees with Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) in the shrub layer, invading this Knox County woodlot. Both of these commonly sold species will be prohibited with the new Knox County ordinance.

Here are some of the details of the ordinance:

  • The ordinance will take affect on January 1, 2020.
  • Sixty-four invasive plants will be prohibited (i.e. those species rated medium or high on the Indiana Invasive Plant List). A full list can be found here.
  • Only established plants (seedlings, liners, potted plants, shrubs, and trees) will be prevented from sale. No seeds will be prevented from sale at this point.
  • No plants that are already planted or invading areas will be affected by this ordinance.
  • The Natural Resource Specialist with the SWCD or other person designated by the County Commissioners will enforce the ordinance.
  • A newly formed, five member Knox County Invasive Species Board (KCISB) will be the hearing authority for the ordinance.

A copy of the passed ordinance can be found here.

Because this ordinance will affect the sale of some commonly used plants, a couple resources were developed to assist landscapers, nurseries, and others select other non-invasive plants.

  • A sheet with alternatives to commonly used invasive plants can be found here.
  • A companion picture sheet can be found here.

All questions about the ordinance can be directed to Will Drews, the Natural Resource Specialist at the Knox County Soil & Water Conservation District, at or (812) 882-8210 ext. 3408.