Tree planting considerations

Homeowners who aspire to add trees to their landscapes would be well advised to consider other potential issues. A free, downloadable publication from the AgCenter, Native Tree Growing Guide for Louisiana provides 16 pages of good advice for an attractive, shady landscape.

To prevent future headaches, here are some things to avoid with respect to tree planting:

  • Planting large trees under utility lines.
  • Blocking traffic signs or views at corners.
  • Planting trees or shrubs too close to ground transformers.
  • Planting large trees too close to buildings. Planting closer than 20 feet is risky.
  • Blocking windows or desirable views.
  • Planting where roots will damage pavement.
  • Spacing trees too closely or shading gardens.
  • Encroaching on your neighbor.

The tree guide addresses the “why, where, what, when and how” of tree planting in some detail. It includes a list of native trees to consider for landscaping with specific lists for different purposes:

  • Trees preferring an acid soil.
  • Trees tolerating dry conditions.
  • Medium to large flowering trees.
  • Small flowering trees.
  • Trees tolerating less than ideal drainage.
  • Trees with attractive berries or fruit.
  • Trees with edible fruit or seeds.
  • Trees frequently providing good fall color.
  • Fast growing shade trees
  • (up to a certain size).
  • Trees with interesting trunks.
  • Evergreen trees.
  • Trees that attract birds.

If you have concerns about landscape trees, contact your county agent or extension forester and ask for a site visit to examine your tree and to receive recommendations.

Keith Hawkins is the area horticulture agent in Allen, Beauregard, Evangeline, Rapides and Vernon parishes. You can reach him by emailing or calling 337-463-7006.

Close-up of a branch with pink flowers.

A closeup of a redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) in bloom. Photo by David J. Stang (Wikimedia Commons).

A telephone pole is covered with vines.

Placing vegetation where it can obstruct a road sign should be avoided. Photo by Andrea De Stefano.

6/2/2023 4:08:01 PM
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