As cleanup from Hurricane Ida begins, 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."
"Following hurricanes, we see an increased number of people going door-to-door offering tree services," Strain said. "When hiring an arborist to remove storm-damaged trees, always 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.
Out of state arborists may apply for a temporary arborist license if they are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or if they are currently licensed in another state by the result of passing an examination. A temporary arborist license is good for 90 days from the date of issuance.
No license is required for someone doing tree debris removal like cutting up and hauling away fallen trees.
Strain added that any work on a tree or portion of a tree still standing will require an arborist license.
Refer to the LDAF website at www.LDAF.state.la.us, LDAF Business App for mobile devices or call 225-952-8100 to verify the current license status of an arborist.