It’s June here in southern Louisiana and most of us know the drill.

✓ Listen to hurricane gurus guess wrong about the number of storms.
✓ Check battery stockpiles.
✓ Grab some extra nonperishable food & water supplies.
✓ Put your hands on important documents…insurance, wills, photographs, etc.
✓ Get extra gas in the spare cans for the generator.
✓ Inspect your trees.

Wait…what?  Inspect your trees?

Yes…inspect your trees.

That is, as long as you don’t want to return home from a storm to find branches damaged or the tree completely uprooted and possibly lying on your home or business.

Why Tree Inspections Are Critical This Time of Year

We’re not trying to alarm anyone, but taking a few minutes to inspect your trees and yard now could be the difference between your trees surviving a storm unharmed and having potentially serious damage or losses.

We know because we’ve seen it happen over and over again.

Hurricanes and strong storms bring sustained high winds, excess water and even flooding. If your trees have been compromised in any way, chances are these extreme elements will push the tree over the edge.

For instance, if your trees are in a soggy area, a few days of heavy rain or a flood could make the ground weak enough to completely uproot a tree.  If the ground is saturated for a long period of time (even a couple of days), root traction decreases and the tree can potentially fall over.

Here’s a quick guide for both homeowners and businesses/organizations when it comes to tree preparedness. Please note that these checklists are designed to educate and raise awareness, but nothing should substitute for an inspection from a professional arborist if you have questions or concerns!

Homeowner Pre-Storm Checklist:

  • Take a look at large trees near your house. If you have palm trees or smaller species like crepe myrtles you don’t have to worry as much about those. Also, healthy Live Oaks are typically not at risk for wind or storm damage.
  • Take into account the age & history of the tree. If the tree has a history of limb failure or disease, have it inspected as it would be considered high risk for wind or storm damage
  • Think about any changes in drainage patterns in your yard such as standing water sitting under the tree. Standing water can cause root loss and rotting, potentially making the tree unstable and at risk of losing anchorage.
  • Find out if water tables have changed either higher or lower, especially near bayous. Even a change of a few inches can impact your trees.
  • Look for damage to roots from things like a new curb, sidewalk, pipes or construction. Also keep an eye out for mushrooms growing on a root, limb or trunk as that may indicate decay or a compromised root system.

Commercial Pre-Storm Checklist:

Generally speaking, businesses, schools and government organizations are at higher risk when it comes to trees as there are often lots of people congregating under their trees every day. The safety of your patrons, students and employees should always be priority #1 when it comes to tree maintenance!

  • Remember that every tree has potential liability!
  • Businesses should attempt to monitor & measure the risk & prevent damage before it happens.
  • Monitor activity under the tree and inspect the tree for structural stability.

And finally, regardless of whether you own a home or business, it’s best to call an arborist for a professional inspection of your trees. You’ll be glad you did!


Work in a First Rate Environment

Picture it this way. You’re in New Orleans’ Bayou country. You’re working amidst live oaks, magnolias and cypress trees at one of the many historically significant work sites in your area. You step back and remember what brought you here: location. A recent vote named The Garden District in New Orleans as the hippest place to live in the country. And the people – our team works together and plays together. You congratulate yourself on a choice well made.

Bayou Tree prides itself not only on ecological commitment of the environment, but also to your personal work environment. You need the best tools to do the best job. That’s why we use state-of-the-art equipment. You’ll need the tools because the climate in New Orleans means year round work. Not that we’ll expect you to work every week. We offer paid vacations and holidays to keep you fresh while on the job. Of course, we realize that there are many practical concerns that you have to consider when taking any position. Our competitive salary is complemented by a profit sharing program. We do well; you do well. We care for your fitness too with a great health and dental plan.

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Keep an Eye On The Future

Today’s job seekers value options when it comes to career goals. That’s why we not only provide incentive for you to stay with us, we also offer training and education that will be of value no matter where your career takes you. There is great potential for advancement because we have a penchant for promoting from within.

We even have a retirement plan in place that insures your golden years will be truly golden. The individual plan is up to you. We are also proud of our continuing education program. We offer training for and assistance in obtaining your arboricultural license. We provide computer training as it pertains to the industry. Other programs you can take advantage of include a host of technical and personal development seminars. In fact, if you want to take a course related to business and/or arboricultural concerns, we’ll give you full tuition assistance.

Live in New Orleans

It’s the city on the Mississippi with European flavor and American Southern charm. Festivals? Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival are national events that never disappoint. Football? The Louisiana Superdome serves as home to the New Orleans Saints, hosts the Sugar Bowl, and reigns as the NFL’s favorite Super Bowl site. New Orleans also boasts the world-famous French Quarter, a number of the country’s finest restaurants, and one of the top universities in the country – Tulane University.

You’ll also get to take advantage of the outdoor activities that the sportsman’s paradise that is the Bayou has to offer. Just ask any of our guys and they’ll be happy to tell you tall tales and fish stories. New Orleans is a vibrant city filled with southern hospitality and a playful spirit. If you’ve never been, you don’t know what you’re missing. And once you come, you won’t want to leave. Besides, the trees are spectacular!

For more information about joining the Bayou Tree Service team contact the Human Resources department:

(504) 608-0731
Fax: (504) 835-8187
Bayou Tree Service
264 Industrial Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70121

If you drive around metro New Orleans or Baton Rouge, or if you have palm trees in your yard, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed our local palm trees don’t look so hot.Their leaves (or frond as we call them) are brown and droopy. Their crowns are often flat seem to have no life.That’s because they’re dying – right before our eyes.

The largest and most majestic, Canary Island Date Palms, have been here since the 1800s and they’re vanishing. And the worst part is there’s not much we can do about it.

Texas Palm Decline Impact on Local Louisiana Palms

We first noticed canary palms declining about two years after Katrina in the mid-city area of  New Orleans, particular City Park and Carrollton Ave. Almost all of the 100 or so Canary palms in that area are now now infected or dead.

After that, we noticed our beloved canary palms and Phoenix dactylifera (date palms) were turning brown and dying all over our service area – from NOLA to Baton Rouge.

The talk in the arborists world was about “Texas Palm Decline”.  Don’t get mad at Texas, it’s not their fault. It’s just where it was noticed first.

The “decline” is a result of a bacterial infection. No one is quite sure how the bacteria is transmitted. There’s no apparent cure. It’s almost like a bad zombie movie…

The symptoms are no or low fruit production. Also, the lower fronds droop to a point where there is a gap between horizontal fronds and the more upright.

There is no proven cure or preventative treatment. We can suppress the decline for a time with an antibiotic, but it never goes away and you have to keep the tree on it for the remainder of it’s life. But as soon as you stop the antibiotic, the tree dies.

At that point, the best we can do is remove the infected palms immediately and properly dispose them off site to help prevent spread of disease.

Replacing Our Favorite Palms with…What?

Canaries and date palms (dacs) are by far the most popular here in southern Louisiana. But with palm decline decimating these species, should you continue to plant them?

Our professional advice is no. Don’t do it.

Why spend $5k, $10k or up to $60k to buy these trees knowing they’re going to die sooner rather than later?

As far as large majestic palms, Sylvester palm appears to be resistant to decline at this writing.

But knowing how quickly this disease has hit the other palms, we recommend looking at other tree species as well before making a decision.

If you’re grieving the loss of your palm trees or weighing your options about what to plant, please call us to request a consultation. Our team of Louisiana certified arborists will help you evaluate your options.

Living in southern Louisiana is truly a gift. Mild winters. Red beans on Mondays. The Saints. LSU.But sometimes living here is frustrating. Hurricanes. Tropical heat. Termites.This time of year termites are EVERYWHERE in southern Louisiana!

They’re swarming around lights at night. Splattering on your windshield during the day. Getting whisked out of your pool in the mornings.

With the non-winter we just had, the termites are active earlier than usual so now is the time to start looking for signs of trouble in your yard.

Termites Damage More than Just Homes

The pest control guys advertise everywhere about protecting your home from termite damage.  And while termites do untold amounts of damage to homes in southern Louisiana, they also inflict tremendous harm on our local tree population.

Most people know that termites feast on “dead” wood, such as the wood used to build homes. However, our most common local termites, the Formosans, eat live trees as well. And they love our local Louisiana trees!

In fact, a USDA study found that approximately 30% of the live oaks in New Orleans were infested with Formosan termites.

What Attracts Termites To Certain Trees?

One word – distress.  A tree under distress is a tree which is especially vulnerable to all types of potential threats including disease, pests and termites.

Many things can stress a tree including lack of water and poor soil conditions. It’s also common here in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to have trees distressed due to damage from a storm.

Keeping Termites Away

Termite prevention can be difficult, but it is worth the effort.

If you’ve had termites in or near your home, it’s a good idea to have your trees inspected as those termites may have traveled underground to nearby trees via their root systems.

If you’ve never had termite problems in your home, the name of the game is prevention, and regular inspections are key to detecting problems early on.

In particular, keep an eye around the base of trees as termites there will be easy to spot.

Also watch for mud trails starting at the ground, shelter tubes along the trunk of the tree and swarm castles at limb scars.

Image Credit: LSU Ag Center


Image Credit: LSU Ag Center

Saving Trees with Termite Damage

If you suspect one of your trees may have termites or you see damage similar to the images above, we recommend calling a professional arborist for an inspection.

Why an arborist and not your termite control company?

Termite control operators are experts treat termites within your home or business. But treating a tree with termites is an entirely different matter. In certain cases your pest control company may not even treat trees or offer a warranty to cover their work on trees.

Don’t worry. We work closely with termite control companies to make sure the entire area around the tree, home (or business) is treated effectively. This team approach ensures the best possible outcome.

The process always starts with an inspection and thorough evaluation of the overall health of the tree and assessing level of termite infestation. Post treatment, regular follow up inspections are necessary to keep an eye on the progress of the tree as it heals.

If you have termites in your local southern Louisiana trees, please contact us to schedule a free inspection.

Prepare for Hurricane Season