Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and provide habitat to over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
Forests provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people, absorb harmful carbon from the atmosphere, and are key ingredients in 25% of all medicines. Have you ever taken an Aspirin? It comes from the bark of a tree! 


Benefits of Planting Trees

Most often we plant trees to provide shade and beautify our landscapes. These are great benefits but trees also provide other less obvious benefits.

Social Benefits

  • Trees make life nicer. It has been shown that spending time among trees and green spaces reduces the amount of stress that we carry around with us in our daily lives.
  • Hospital patients have been shown to recover from surgery more quickly when their hospital room offered a view of trees.
  • Children have been shown to retain more of the information taught in schools if they spend some of their time outdoors in green spaces.
  • Trees are often planted as living memorials or reminders of loved ones or to commemorate significant events in our lives.

Communal Benefits

  • Even though you may own the trees on your property your neighbors may benefit from them as well.
  • Through careful planning trees can be an asset to your entire community.
  • Tree lined streets have a traffic calming effect, traffic moves more slowly and safely.
  • Trees can be placed to screen unwanted views or noise from busy highways.
  • Trees can complement the architecture or design of buildings or entire neighborhoods.

Environmental Benefits

  • Trees offer many environmental benefits.
  • Trees reduce the urban heat island effect through evaporative cooling and reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches parking lots and buildings. This is especially true in areas with large impervious surfaces, such as parking lots of stores and industrial complexes.
  • Trees improve our air quality by filtering harmful dust and pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide from the air we breathe.
  • Trees give off oxygen that we need to breathe.
  • Trees reduce the amount of storm water runoff, which reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways and may reduce the effects of flooding.
  • Many species of wildlife depend on trees for habitat. Trees provide food, protection, and homes for many birds and mammals.

What Is A Native Tree?

A native tree is one that has not been introduced by man and occurs naturally. Native trees are perfect for providing food and shelter for our wildlife, manufacturing oxygen for both animals and humans.

If you wish to plant your own tree, please ensure that it is native Louisiana species:

  • Nuttall Oak
  • ‘Drummond’ Red Maple
  • Bald Cypress
  • Live Oak
  • Dahoon Holly
  • Savannah Holly
  • Sweet Bay Magnolia
  • ‘Little Gem’ Magnolia


Why Plant a Live Oak?

Live oak trees are durable, hardy trees that are especially resistant to damage from high winds. This means that a healthy oak will survive most tropical storms and hurricanes, leaving you one less thing to worry about in the event of a big, destructive storm. 

Oak trees also naturally add value to the landscape with their large, spreading crown and steady growth rate. Planting an oak on your property provides shade from the intensity of the sun and also adds visual interest to your lawn.

Environmentally, trees are good for the earth and good for your community, as well. Since oaks are long-lived (one oak tree can live for as long as 1,000 years), planting an oak tree is one way that you can invest in the future. By planting an oak, you give a gift to the people who will come after you are gone from the earth. 

Live Oak can drink up to 1,000 gallons of water, per day,  during heavi rains and storms. 

How to Plant a Live Oak?

Before you can get started planting your live oak, you will first need to know about where to plant the tree, when to plant the tree, and what to do to help the tree thrive in its first months on your property. After giving your tree a good start, it will eventually need less maintenance. 


Live oaks need full sun in order to thrive. Look for a place on your property where the oak tree will be exposed to full sun, even in its smallest stages. If your oak tree is grown in partial shade, it may grow slowly or it may not thrive at all. 


Avoid planting your live oak too close to your house, as its sprawling branches will drop leaves and may even drop branches on your home. Your live oak may develop a spread that is as wide as 120 feet. Plant your tree at least 15 feet from your home, and ideally more. In future years, if your tree does grow branches over your roof, have it trimmed.


The tree you plant will have an effect on the way your property looks. Avoid planting your tree in a position that could block windows or the view of your front door. Mature trees that block the view of your front door to the street may prevent visitors from noticing your home. 


The best time to plant your tree is during its dormant season. Live oaks are almost evergreen in Florida, but will lose their leaves just before spring growth encourages new leaves to appear. This is their dormant stage. Planting your tree in this stage will give it a long growing season to make its recovery. 


Dig a hole that is about twice the size of the tree’s root ball, but only as deep as the root ball. This makes it easier for your tree to spread its roots outward while giving the tree plenty of support from underneath. 


After placing the tree in its hole and replacing the soil around the root ball, spread mulch around the base of the tree. Keep the mulch away from the trunk to prevent the spread of fungus. Refresh mulch throughout the year to shade the roots, lock in moisture and protect your tree from intense heat.

What Kind of Ongoing Maintenance Does a Live Oak Need?

Most live oaks will grow without need for fertilization or pruning. Water is crucial in the first several months as your live oak settles in its new home. Water the tree weekly, soaking the ground each time. After the tree has been in its location for a couple months, reduce watering to once every two weeks, and then cut back to once monthly. 

Do not over-water your tree. You do not need to water your tree if it is receiving adequate water from rainfall. Once the tree has been in the same location for a year, it should need no more supplemental watering except in dry seasons and in periods of drought. Watch your tree for signs of distress, like premature yellowing of leaves, black spots on the trees, and so on.