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From what I've read, sassafras isn't hard to grow and can in fact become quite invasive at times. That being said, there is a significant amount of money it seems being spent upon the dried powdered leaves. One sassafras tree is capable of producing pounds upon pounds of these leaves, which can produce easily a few pounds of powder per tree. It is then sold for over a dollar an ounce to culinary enthusiasts online.  From my understanding, all that would be needed to engage in such a business would be a coffee grinder, some screens, a sifter, and a few cheap dehydrators of the common 35 dollar walmart variety. I have also heard about some restrictions upon the sale of the plant due to worries about a toxic compound called saffrole. Some jurisdictions do seem to find them to be invasive and forbid their cultivation. My farm is on the edge of the tree's natural range, so I believe cultivating it here should be a breeze. So I guess my question here is, has anybody on the forum much experience with sassafras and any legal/fda issues that might surround it's sale?

Farmer Joe
Posts: 499
Location: Western Kentucky
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They proliferate quite well in western KY, though I've never tried to intentionally propogate them. I keep meaning to experiment with them as a spice, but keep forgetting. I've also been meaning to try making root beer. I have never looked into selling it, so maybe you have given me a good idea. I wouldn't have thought it was in demand enough to bother, so I hope you are right. I do like the wood. I think it is beautiful (with a shimmery iridescence when it moves in the light), lightweight, and springy. It's good for bows and handles.
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There was one growing (wild I think) near my childhood home in west-central GA (US).  I don't know what happened to it. I would love to get one planted here on my land. I am in the same area.
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Location: southern Illinois.
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Here in the southern tip of Illinois, it is just shy of being a weed. I have dozens of Sassafras trees on my 11 acres.  I was not aware of a commercial use.
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