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cover. Green Laws. Green Laws. title. & Com munity Des ign. LSU Green Laws Research Project. Katherine McClellan. Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry EBR Parish Tree And Landscape Commission. Photographs: Live Oak Gardens Ltd.

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Green Laws

Green Laws

  • title

& Community


LSU Green Laws Research Project

Katherine McClellan

Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry

EBR Parish Tree And Landscape Commission

Photographs: Live Oak Gardens Ltd.

Abbey Associates Landscape Architects


Typical Parking Area Shading Codes:

San Antonio, Texas

Sacramento, California

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Problem: Urban heat islands, along with other

negative effects occur when there

is a lack of parking shading ordinances.


The purpose of parking shading ordinances is…

  • to improve the aesthetic value of concrete vistas
  • to break up large expanses of impermeable surfacing to lower
  • environmental impact
  • to improve air quality with planting
  • to implement shade canopies
  • to create wildlife corridor through urban areas

Many communities do not have any parking shading regulations in place.

Ones that do, generally have them outlined as required specified caliper

trees per so many feet. Ordinances that excel define minimum sizes for

parking median planting beds.

Tree spacing is regulated in several ways, including:

- percentage canopy cover per so many sq feet of parking area

- percentage caliper inch per so many sq feet of parking area

- one per so many feet across parking area


A well written parking shading code should include at least the following:

  • defined tree species, installation condition, and quality minimums
  • minimum canopy cover per parking area square footage
  • median bed minimum size requirements
  • tree planting distance from impermeable surfacing
  • maintenance stipulations to avoid tree canopy overgrowth

Typical code specifications:

Baton Rouge

-canopy trees defined

-25 -100 space parking lots need one class a or two class b trees per 10 spaces

-plant trees minimum 3’ from paved areas or 12 times diameter of trunk

-planter beds protected with curbing

-all beds minimum 5’ width for planting

San Antonio

-canopy trees defined

-25% of parking lot shaded

-trees planted within 12’ of impermeable surfacing count half as those over 12’away

-bed islands no less than 9’x18’

-preserved trees count towards total parking shading


-canopy trees defined

-one tree for every two parking spaces

-50% of parking area shaded with planting design within 15 years

-minimum 8x10 or 4x10 bed islands

- trees may not be trimmed except for safety/health reasons



Thanks to: Buck Abbey and his LA 4504 seminar