Tree Planting

Karen Cambre, Sharpe, Kenneth W.

News article for January 7, 2019:

Arbor Day is a national tree planting observance that is designed to bring attention to the importance of trees and the need to continue to renew the resource. Arbor Day is observed at different times around the country, but in Louisiana we observe it on the third Friday in January.


The reason that we observe Arbor Day in January is because winter is an excellent time to plant trees. It is by far the best time to plant seedling, bare rooted, and ball and burlap trees. If you cannot plant on the exact date, do not fret; plant as soon as possible but before spring.

Time has a way of taking a toll on trees. If I look around my yard I have lost over half of my trees in the last few decades. Many of us need to fill in the holes left from hurricanes, tornados and even snow damage.

One of the considerations in a new planting is how large will the tree get?The storms we have encountered have brought about a heightened awareness of the danger of trees falling on homes and other structures. Almost all nursery stock will come with a tag that will tell you the mature width and height of the tree.If that is not available consult our website at and look at Publication 1622, Trees for Louisiana Landscapes.

I see way too many trees that have a potential height of 80 -100 feet planted very near a home.They look great initially but they will eventually reach their potential and will cause concern during the storms of the future. Measure off the distance needed for the tree’s mature height and if you do not have enough room, change to a specie that will fit your space.

You should also consider the direction of the tree in relationship to your house or outside living areas and the sun.You may need protection from the afternoon sun on the western exposure.This will not be a quick fix. Trees are a long term project and do not grow overnight. Some definitely grow faster than others and those are also listed in our publication.

Do you want color?If so, consider a tree that will flower.There are trees that flower in the earliest of spring such as Redbud and others that flower in the summer like Sweet Bay Magnolia. Some have better fall foliage than others. There is also interesting bark choices such as Drake Elm and River Birch.

Do you want evergreen trees or deciduous?Evergreen trees like American Holly or Live Oak will keep there leaves all winter long and will block the sun and warmth during the winter, but you don’t have to rake leaves (well, you do have to rake live oak leaves). Deciduous trees like Shumard Oak or Green Ash provide shade during the summer but let the sun in during the winter.Deciduous trees work best on south and west exposures.

Trees provide good memories when planted in honor of a new family arrival, a milestone or as a memorial.

There are lots of good tree choices. The weather is cool and the ground soft so there are no excuses.

For more information on these or related topics contact Kenny at 225-686-3020 or visit our website at

1/7/2019 7:30:34 PM
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