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Strain: Know When to Hire a Licensed Horticulture Professional

April 17, 2014

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is reminding residents to hire only licensed professionals for certain landscaping activities when they hire out work to be performed.
“With the weather warming up and people wanting to spruce up their landscaping following this hard winter we had, homeowners need to ensure when they hire out work that the individual performing the work is a licensed professional,” Strain said.
Routine grass mowing and edging do not require licensed individuals.  However, work such as plant bed preparation, bedding plant installation, landscape design, lawn irrigation system installation, tree trimming, and application of fertilizer must be conducted by someone licensed through LDAF.
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.
Homeowners should ask for the individual’s lice nse when considering who to hire and also ask for and check references.  Not only is a license required by law, but the use of properly licensed individuals ensures that they have the training necessary to perform the work.
Licensees must have passed a written exam administered by LDAF, demonstrating proficiency in their profession.  They also must possess proper insurance if mandated by law and some licensed professions require participation in periodic refresher training through continuing education.
To find a list of licensed individuals, go to the LDAF website at or call the Horticulture & Quarantine Programs division at (225) 952-8100.