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Posted 03/30/2020 in Tree Service Marketing

Tree Service Industry in 2020 and the Future

Tree Service Industry in 2020 and the Future

In this blog post, we discuss the tree service industry statistics and data in 2020 and moving into the future. A discussion around past and current processes and machinery being used, stats around how the industry is going, how people hire tree service companies, etc. If you have any questions or comments add them below. We’d love to hear your thoughts if you work in the industry as an owner or tree worker. 

The tree service industry in America has gone through many changes and overcome a lot of challenges over the years. When it comes to Mother Nature she brings forth many different tests. Due to different diseases or bug infestations, a variety of things over the decades have impacted the tree service industry. In 1930, 75% of the country's Elm trees were destroyed due to the Dutch Elm disease. If we look at more recent times, the Emerald Ash Borer infestation has a cost in excess of $10 billion dollars in damages and destroyed over 17 million Ash Trees. Some states have been tremendously affected some worse than others, states like Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and many others Ash Trees in those states have been decimated. 

Along the lines of diseases and bug infestations, treacherous wildfires on the West Coast like California require logging and forestry companies to come in, replanting operations, in addition to the repetitive storms throughout this region of the land is keeping tree care companies busy in communities. This is why Arborists Near Me donates to One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization that plants trees and helps reforestation in areas, the countries and regions that need it most. For every tree service company that gets listed, we make a donation to One Tree Planted to plant a tree. 

Tree Service Industry Challenges

If you are in the business of tree removal and the general care for trees, take a minute to think about some of the challenges your business is facing on a day to day basis, comment below if you fun into some of these listed. We don’t know all the challenges the owners of tree service companies face, but there are some that exist that we hear on a regular basis. Things that we hear often are ways to modernize the way tree service is performed, how to remove some of the dangerous work conditions facing tree workers to remove liabilities making it much safer. These are just a few of the concerns owners keep bringing up in conversations, other things include: 

  • How to remain profitable in a very competitive industry, in which a number of fly by night individuals and companies are popping up low balling estimates.

  • How to minimize and reduce the number of work injuries and fatalities

  • How to keep busy during an uncertain time since it can be a seasonal industry 

  • How immigration laws are affecting the hiring of tree workers

  • How to find good reliable employees that are dependable

Maintaining and Running a Business in the Tree Service Industry 

A tree service business’ startup costs alone are typically between $50,000 and $150,000. It’s a great deal of money if you take into account a truck, chipper truck, trailer, in addition to the accounting for a business license, liability insurance, disability insurance, if you need a physical location, auto insurance, equipment insurance, umbrella insurance, and workers’ comp. The cost of equipment needed could include safety gear, ladders, chainsaws, pruning shears, computers, wheelbarrows, invoicing software, an accounting system, a payroll system, business cards, a professional website, and estimate forms. 

This is where individuals that pop up in a truck with chainsaw fall short, they think they can just get started and chop trees and make money. They can but the real costs of starting a legit business in 2020 are real, this is why these types of people can underbid and low ball credible companies that have all these things listed above. How are you going to get the customers before they do, you need to advertise in places they aren’t. Creating a listing in Arborists Near Me takes 2 minutes and over 200 companies have already gotten listed, most are doing $500k to $10M a year in sales and have ISA and TCIA Certified Arborists on staff. 

What are the expenses for tree service in 2020?

Most tree service companies pay their employees depending on their credentials and certified between $10 and $23, per hour. This means that most workers in the tree service industry make between $21,000 and $49,700 per year. In addition to this, the company must also provide the property equipment to its employees, insurance, along with the expenses of running the business on a day to day basis such as gas for vehicles. Not to mention the maintenance of equipment and vehicles, if you plan to advertise your business ongoing marketing costs can produce a great return on investment to help pay for these types of things. Good advertising shouldn't cost money it should make you money. 

How much profit can a tree service make in 2020?

Most tree service companies in America do between $100,000 to $5M in annual gross income. There are so many variables that come into play with profit and how much each company makes. If you are a 1 crew operation you could be on the lower end if you have 35 employees running 5 or 6 crews doing $20,000 a day in sales then you are on the higher end.  However there are not too many big tree service companies, the majority of them are small business, average-sized companies. 

10 Significant Tree Service Industry Statistics

1. The tree service industry in the United States provides a diversified mix of business sizes and employment options. The 4 largest firms in the industry account for 4% of total industry receipts that are generated according to the International Society of Arboriculture.

2. Around 82,000 businesses are currently active in the tree service industry in the U.S. right now. The average tree service business employs just 2 people according to the International Society of Arboriculture.

3. The total annual gross receipts that are generated by the tree service industry total add up to about $9 billion annually in the United States according to the International Society of Arboriculture.

4. About half of the tree service companies that operate in the United States have a gross annual income of less than $500,000. Less than 5% have gross sales of more than $2.5 million each year according to the International Society of Arboriculture.

5. Most of the income generated by today's tree service industry is residential work. Around 13% of active tree service companies belong to the Tree Care Industry Association according to the International Society of Arboriculture.

6. 65% of the work that the tree service industry performs on any given day is a single-family residence. Only 23% of the work is either commercial or industrial. Just 6% of the work for the industry is directly related to tree care according to Lawn and Landscape Magazine.

7. Workers in the tree service industry say they are optimistic about their outlook on the industry and 4 out of 5 say that the industry is healthy. At the same time, however, fewer than 1 in 5 owners say they expect to generate higher revenues in the coming year according to Lawn and Landscape Magazine.

8. 60% of vendors who supply equipment to the tree service industry report an increase in sales over the year before. Another 55% report an increase in service-related business compared to the year before according to Green Industry Pros.

9. 90% of homeowners believe that it is important to maintain their yard and 2 out of 3 backyard owners say they would hire a professional tree service to help them care for their trees, shrubs, and other woody plants according to Harris.

10. 18% of the tree service businesses in the U.S. have been in business for more than 30 years. Around 30% of the industry has been in business for 10-19 years according to Lawn and Landscape.

Employment in the Tree Service Industry

In 2020, the majority of tree service jobs are completed by Arborists and tree workers, this work can include a variety of things such as lot clearing for new construction, fallen or trees damaged due to high wind or storms, management of commercial tree service properties, and as stated above the bulk of tree service jobs are residential. Homeowners need tree services like tree trimming, tree planting, tree removal, stump removal, etc. The residential tree service industry is booming right now. As the owner of a tree service company the industry tends to fare well for professional companies that do business the right way, there are scrupulous companies that pop up underbidding companies. However, in most cases, if a company is doing $500k a year in gross sales their online marketing efforts, referrals and word of mouth business can trump, one off situations. 

When you consider that many professional tree workers are oftentimes working in dangerous conditions along with dangerous equipment it is clear that most owners want more modernized ways to do tree care. This can help transform the industry and make professional tree service companies more efficient operations, increase profits and provide much better safety to improve these statistics. The main reason people don’t want to work in the tree service industry is due to the working conditions and environment of being high up in trees, one would have to have a heart for doing this type of work to make a great career out of it. 

 Safety in the Tree Service Industry

There are constant safety concerns that need to be addressed in the tree service industry, this is something we hear over and over from owners and workers. Most tree service works are not trained properly, some owners just hire random workers to get on the job right away using a chainsaw running jobs with little to the minor experience. However, a high percentage of owners realize the risk of hiring employees that lack the skills and training to perform this level of work. This is why they are having their employees take training to become certified with TCIA and ISA, being a member of either organization, continuing ongoing education is the best bet for owners and their employees. The industry itself is forecast to continue growing, but that trend could begin to contract should there be ongoing safety issues that remain unaddressed.

Over the past decade, through technology and advancements in personal safety equipment also the government regulations stepped in to overcome many of these challenges that workers and owners face. This makes the environment much safer. 

From decades ago using just a crosscut saw, the tree care industry has made many advances in equipment, techniques, and technologies to make the job much safer, easier, and less stressful. There are still risks with electrocutions, critical head injuries, falls, machine-related injuries  especially with wood-chippers, and being struck by falling objects, these types of injuries continue to inflict workers and cause deadly results. It has decreased dramatically over the decades but these things still happen due to maybe a lack of concentration or focus on the job, some are just accidents. 


The tree service industry is alive and well in 2020, with any industry it has its ups and downs. Focus on the big 3. Security, how secure is the industry moving into the future. More and more millennials are using the internet to find services online so having a great online presence to stay ahead of the competition is a recommendation. Safety, stay on top of safety within your business and do not cut corners, make sure you and your staff are training and continuing education through organizations like ISA and TCIA. Make sure your employees and customers know that you are a part of these organizations that ensure safety, caring for trees and that your company is knowledgeable in this industry is a way to separate yourself from the pack. Success, it’s hard to be successful if you aren't bringing in new customers, keeping those customers through repeat business and referrals. Word of mouth is the hope business you hope someone recommends your business. Do yourself a favor, get listed in Arborists Near Me, 200 plus companies have got listed. You could be one of the first companies to show up every time someone in your area looks for a tree service company. It’s just $19.99 per month, no contract. Most owners realize that 1 job can pay for years of their premier listing. See who has already signed up here: https://www.arboristsnearme.com/search_results


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