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The LDAF reminds residents to only hire licensed horticulture professionals

NEWS

The LDAF reminds residents to only hire licensed horticulture professionals

August 18, 2022

For Immediate Release:              
August 18, 2022

Contact:
Jennifer Finley, Press Secretary – 225-922-1256
Megan Moore, Public Information Director – 225-935-2179
presssecretary@LDAF.la.gov

The LDAF reminds residents to only hire licensed horticulture professionals

BATON ROUGE – The 2022 hurricane season has begun, and while we haven’t seen our first big storm, it is only a matter of time. As you make preparations for the storms to come and prepare your landscapes for the fall and winter months, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) reminds residents to only hire licensed professional arborists, landscape horticulturists, and landscape irrigation contractors when having work done on their property.

“Not everyone who claims to be a ‘yard specialist’ is actually a landscaping professional, which requires training,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “These professionals are trained to execute the work properly, and arborists and landscape irrigation contractors are required to attend continuing education training to renew their licenses.”

All arborists, landscape horticulturists, and landscape irrigation contractors must be licensed by the LDAF. By 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, has a regular employee who holds the appropriate license or permit, or is employed by a person who holds the appropriate license or permit.

When is a license required? LDAF Horticulture and Quarantine Programs Director Tina Peltier said routine grass mowing and edging don’t require licensed individuals. “However, work such as plant bed preparation, bedding plant installation, lawn irrigation system installation, tree trimming, and fertilizer application all must be conducted by licensed individuals,” stated Peltier.

“It is best to use licensed horticulture professionals to work around your property not only because they are trained but because they must maintain liability insurance as well. Hiring a licensed arborist protects you,” said Commissioner Strain. “Ask to see a license issued by LDAF before allowing any work to be done on your property. Also, be sure to get a written estimate and never pay for the job up front.”

Refer to the LDAF website, https://www.ldaf.state.la.us/ldaf-programs/horticulture-programs/louisiana-horticulture-commission/, or the LDAF Business App for mobile devices to verify the current license status of a horticulture professional. The app, called LDAF Business Search, may be downloaded for free at the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Residents may also call the Horticulture and Quarantine Programs Division at 225-952-8100 to verify horticulture licenses.

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