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Strain: Hire Licensed Horticulture Professionals
April 6, 2017
Baton Rouge, LA (April 6, 2017) – It’s that time of year when people are ready to spruce up their yards. Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is urging Louisiana homeowners to hire only licensed landscape horticulturists, arborists and landscape irrigation contractors when doing major landscaping work at their homes or businesses.
Strain advised that homeowners ask to see a license issued by the LDAF before allowing any work to be done on their property. Homeowners should also ask arborists, landscape horticulturists and landscape irrigation contractors for references before engaging their services and should follow up by checking those references.
“Be wary of people claiming to be ‘yard specialists’ when, in reality, they may not be true landscape professionals. Many have little or no training and it shows in their work,” said Strain.
Licensed arborists and landscape irrigation contractors must also have current liability insurance before a license is issued by the LDAF. “Hurricane season is right around the corner. Again, for major jobs cutting back or cutting down trees before or after a storm, it’s always best to enlist the help of someone who is licensed and insured to handle those jobs,” said Strain.
Oversight of these professionals is through the LDAF’s Horticulture and Quarantine Programs division.
Strain said horticulture professionals must pass an exam to ensure that they have the training necessary to do the work. Arborists and landscape irrigation contractors are required to attend continuing education training to renew their licenses. In addition, licensed horticultural professionals are required to display their LDAF license number on their vehicles.
Call the Horticulture and Quarantine Programs division at 225-952-8100 if there are any questions about whether a landscape horticulturist, landscape irrigation contractor or arborist is properly licensed. A list of licensed horticulture professionals is also available at www.LDAF.la.gov.