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Hire Licensed Arborists/Contractors to Work on Storm-Damaged Trees and Property

August 16, 2016

Baton Rouge, LA (August 16, 2016) – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is reminding residents to hire only professional-licensed arborists to perform work on storm-damaged trees.

“Anyone doing tree work in Louisiana is required to obtain a license through the LDAF,” Strain said. “Hiring only licensed-professional arborists protects you, the homeowner, since licensed arborists are not only trained to properly execute tree work, but they must also maintain liability insurance. I also urge you to get a written estimate and, while you may be required to pay a reasonable deposit, you should never pay for the job in full up front.”

Strain also says if someone knocks on your door and offers to cut tree limbs, ask to see their license and a current copy of the arborist’s liability insurance certificate. According to the Louisiana Horticulture Law: No person shall receive fees, advertise or solicit business in a regulated profession or occupation unless this person holds the appropriate license or permit, or has a regular employee who holds the appropriate license or permit, or is employed by a person who holds the appropriate license or permit. In addition, all licensees are required to place their license numbers on all business-related vehicles that have advertisements on them.

“This is also something to keep in mind if someone approaches you about doing repairs to your home. Please make sure that person is licensed and insured. Following disasters, people come out of the woodwork to make money. Protect yourself. Do not give anyone money in advance unless you know they are reputable. Have a written contract and just be cautious,” added Strain.

No license is required for persons doing tree debris removal, which includes cutting up and hauling away fallen trees. Strain added, “Any work on a tree or portion of a tree still standing will require an arborist license.”

A list of people licensed to do arborist work in Louisiana may be obtained from the LDAF website at, or by calling 225-952-8100.