Written by John Hackwood on May 28th 2020
essential tree services in action

Dramatic Turn-around in Tree Industry Business Activity

United States tree service firms and their workers are leading the bounce-back in the home service field of the US domestic economy. New research conducted by MarketingDirector.com shows that over 4 in every five (82%) US arborists and tree business owners are no longer being negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of arborists not being adversely impacted (82%) is a big improvement on the 42% number surveyed at the end of March 2020 in a near identical poll.

Actually, almost one in three of all United States participants (30%) mentioned that they were busier than ever. Since the research fieldwork was completed on May 10th 2020, restrictions in numerous States have been eased further. This bodes well for the continuation of this positive news.

Fewer Tree Service Businesses Doing Badly

Despite the good news, almost one in 5 tree companies (18%) say that their business is still being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to their detriment. However, this number is down from 58% at the end of March. Once again, this is a great improvement.

The new May poll drew interest from 141 US tree company owners and arborists alike. The survey was conducted within two separate Facebook Groups on Saturday May 9th and Sunday May 10th 2020. This compares with 212 participants at the end of March 2020 in a very similar round of polls. As in March, non-US respondents have been removed out of the survey results.

How does the May Survey Compare with March

A comparison of March and May results is shared below:
Table of Tree Service Survey Results Comparing Responses between March and May 2020
The new poll in May shows a remarkable turn-around in the fortunes of the tree service industry. This has to place arborists and tree service owners at the ‘cutting edge’ of US economic recovery following the Coronavirus pandemic.

March Survey Results

For ease of reference, the full article explaining the separate March 2020 survey can be viewed here:

Why the Rapid Recovery? 3 Main Reasons

There are 3 main factors for the fast bounce-back, in our view:
  • Most tree services have been declared part of the range of essential services that are exempt from various closure orders and stay-at-home notices.
  • ​With more domestic consumers at home in lock-down, more people are spending time in their back yard noticing various tree problems including late Spring tree pests and limb damage from winter storms.
  • In many States there is a seasonal rise in demand for tree services at this time of year peaking mid-to-late Summertime.

Better Retention of Tree Crews

Let’s remember that the US tree care industry employs nearly 300,000 individuals. With this latest survey news, most of these jobs now look a lot safer now than they were before. The fact that 30 million US citizens now declare themselves as unemployed could ease one of the tree industry’s perennial problems. Retention of trained crews is always a difficult for this seasonal trade. We predict that with fewer alternative employment options, tree service owners might find employee loyalty improve somewhat.

Research Methodology

The research was once again carried out making use of the polling facility in 2 different Facebook Groups. Both Groups used are prominent amongst tree service company owners and arborists alike. Respondents were once more presented with a single question and 6 alternative answers.

To ensure comparability of results between end of March and May polling rounds, the exact same methodology was used from 6 weeks formerly with one minor exception – see ‘Extra Questions’ below.

The same question 6 weeks on:

"As a Tree Service Owner, exactly how Is your company being impacted by COVID-19 in your solution location? Please pick one of the adhering to choices that ideal defines your company scenario:"

6 business scenarios from which respondents could choose just one:
  • “Not Affected, all tree work regarded as an Essential Service here.”
  • ​“Not Affected, we are free to carry on unhindered here.”
  • ​“Adversely Affected, as I Can Only Do the TCIA/ISA list of Essential Services In my area.”
  • ​“Adversely Affected, not because of regulations but because I have fewer tree work Inquiries from customers/prospects.”
  • ​“Shut Down, I voluntarily chose to stand down my crew and business to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 In my community.”
  • ​“Shut-Down, I am prohibited from doing any tree work here.”

Extra Questions Included By Respondents

The May survey differed only from the March survey in that we permitted respondents to add a response option of their own. This was done to ensure a true reflection of the current business climate was captured. In each Facebook Group poll, respondents included two additional questions each making 4 in all. Here they are:

Raw Results in Full May 2020

Raw Tree Service Survey Results May 2020

Statistical Relevance

Results from polls in two separate FaceBook Groups, popular among tree service owners, were combined. In absolute numbers, 141 participants is a respectable sample size where the results are statistically relevant. When extrapolating the results to build a national picture, some caution is required. This is partly because the respondents have self-selected to answer the poll. In professionally-commissioned research, respondents would be chosen from a large sample ‘pool’ to ensure that US tree service companies of various sizes, types and locations would be fully representative of the overall business population in this service niche.

What is MarketingDirector.com doing?

All staff at MarketingDirector.com are taking physical isolation and social-distancing recommendations seriously. Unlike our tree service clients, we are better able to work from home as best we can, albeit in isolation from one another.

We remain open for business for all tree service and arborist clients. After all, most of our digital marketing work can be conducted through computers from any location. Live call volumes from local US prospects needing tree work are higher in some areas and lower in others.

Recognizing call volume volatility, we have taken the opportunity to switch on two additional digital sources of live calls in order to generate more inquiries for clients.

John Hackwood

John Hackwood helps tree service owners get new customers every month. He is an expert at helping them get new business using proprietary methods and making things super simple to understand. He has been a marketing professional since 1988 and is using this considerable experience to help small businesses in the US tree service sector.

His agency, MarketingDirector.com, only serves the US tree service industry. MarketingDirector.com’s marketing solutions drive live phone inquiries from prospects in specific local areas direct to tree service clients. The highly-qualified live calls are raised by a unique cocktail of digital marketing tactics.

Unlike other lead generation companies, MarketingDirector.com only sells the live calls to singular clients in each ‘fenced’ geographic service area. In this way, every client enjoys exclusivity in their own area, safe in the knowledge that their calls will not be addressed by other local businesses.

The service is suitable to those tree service companies wishing to add more customers and grow their business. Fully 12% of those tree businesses surveyed in May 2020 say they are experiencing fewer calls and lower demand from customers. MarketingDirector.com can put all these tree businesses at the front of the queue for the remaining available tree-related business in their localities.

If you're interested in learning how John can help you grow your tree service business then click on blue button below.
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