Our Trees

Re-Greening New Orleans

The trees of New Orleans are a significant part of the quality of life of the city.  Not only do they provide an iconic, aesthetic touch of nature in our urban environment but they also serve a vital environmental role in reducing the heat island effect, much appreciated in our semi-tropical climate and reducing the amount of rain run-off reducing the strain on our drainage systems. All public trees are protected by the New Orleans Code of Ordinances under Chapter 106, Section IV. Protection of Vegetation.

The Department of Parks and Parkways maintains all City trees. These include trees on public property such as neutral grounds and in parks, and trees between the sidewalk and street.

Since Hurricane Katrina, Parks and Parkway has undertaken a re-greening effort to replace the many thousands of trees lost. If you would like to assist in these efforts, we encourage you to visit NOLATreeProject external link and SOUL (Sustaining Our Urban Landscape).  These partners are invaluable in helping re-green neighborhoods and public spaces.


View Citywide Tree Inventory 

To report a City Tree Emergency after office hours (8:00 am to 5 pm) call the City of New Orleans Emergency number – dial 911.

Every tree species has pros and cons. Parks and Parkways recommends reading about tree choices in order to make an informed decision and choose the most appropriate tree for your location.

What is the Width of The Area?

If the width of the planting strip is less than 5 feet, only a small size tree is allowed.

Are There Overhead or Underground Utility Lines?

Overhead utility lines limit the size of the tree that can be planted beneath them. A tree that grows into the wires could cause disruption of utility service to your neighborhood during a storm. Often, a utility company will have to prune a tree to allow for the unimpeded passage of the wires through the canopy of the tree. It is best to avoid these problems by selecting and planting the correct tree for your location.

Do You Prefer an Evergreen or Deciduous Tree?

Deciduous trees often have the benefit of autumn color before the leaves drop each fall. They are also more energy efficient as they provide shade in the summer but do not block the winter sun. Evergreen trees still drop leaves, either periodically through the year (like the southern magnolia) or as the new leaves are emerging in the spring (like the live oak). But they are never completely bare.

Should You choose a Flowering Tree, a Fruiting Tree or a Shade Tree?

Choosing the ideal tree requires balancing space constraints, personal preferences and each variety's tradeoffs. A blooming crape myrtle may drop spent flowers. A berry tree feeds birds but the birds leave droppings. And a majestic live oak provides abundant shade although restrictive roots may disturb hardscape over time.

Consider every tree's pros and cons against your yard dimensions and priorities. Parks and Parkways experts happily guide tree selections optimized for the soil, sunlight, overhead wires and preferred upkeep level unique to your property. Their recommendations focus on sustainable matches allowing trees and people to mutually thrive across neighborhoods.

How Do You Pick The Spot to Plant the Tree?

Tree Placement Guidelines

When planting street trees, follow these minimum distance guidelines:

  • 25 feet from any intersection (maintains visibility)
  • 5 feet from driveways (allows access)
  • 20 feet from stop signs/light poles (prevents light blocking)
  • 10 feet from fire hydrants (enables access)
  • 4 feet width x 7 feet height clearance along sidewalk (keeps pedestrian right-of-way open)

Proper placement creates safe conditions for traffic and pedestrians while allowing trees to thrive. For additional guidance in selecting and siting trees, contact Parks & Parkways at 504-658-3200 or parksandparkways@nola.gov. Helpful planting resources are also available via LSU AgCenter.

Following simple distance principles facilitates growing beautiful, hazard-free canopy – so let’s get planting in the right places!