Arboriculture is defined as the study, cultivation, and management of trees, shrubs, vines, and other woody plants.
As an industry, arboriculture includes landscaping services, tree-trimming services, and other unique services that are offered to provide for the health and care of woody plants.
A service provider working within this industry might choose and maintain ornamental shrubs for a property. They might provide pruning and other services that are focused on the long-term needs of the tree instead of topping or size management. Disease diagnosis, soil management, and similar services are also provided.
Significant Arboriculture Industry Statistics
#1. The arboriculture industry in the United States provides a diversified mix of business sizes and employment options. The 4 largest firms in the industry account for just 4% of total industry receipts that are generated. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#2. About 82,000 businesses are currently active in the arboriculture industry in the U.S. right now. The average business in this industry employs just 2 people. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#3. The total annual gross receipts that are generated by the arboriculture industry total about $9 billion annually in the United States. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#4. Utility services that are provided in conjunction with arboriculture services in the U.S. may total up to $10 billion in receipts annually. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#5. About half of the companies that operate within the arboriculture industry in the United States have a gross annual income of less than $500,000. Less than 5% gross more than $2.5 million each year. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#6. Most of the income that is generated by the modern arboriculture industry involves residential tree work. About 13% of active companies belong to the Tree Care Industry Association. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#7. Only 62% of field managers within the arboriculture industry say that they have a formal training program for their employees. 1 out of 4 companies in this industry do not train new workers at all before placing them out in the field. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#8. 73.2% of companies report that they offer no aerial rescue training to their employees. Another 14% of companies say that they offer this training just once per year. (International Society of Arboriculture)
#9. Arboriculture companies are more likely to provide training on spraying chemicals (86%) than they are to provide training for using aerial lifts (77%), chain saws (59%), or chippers (53%). (International Society of Arboriculture)
#10. For employees that are primarily responsible for pruning or trimming trees, their average hourly wage in the United States is $17.94. About 40,000 people are employed each year with this type of job title. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
#11. When all landscaping services are included within the arboriculture industry, the total revenues generated by the industry are about $78 billion. The industry has seen an annual growth rate of 3.9% over the past 5 years and employs nearly 1 million people. (IBIS World)
#12. 65% of the work that the arboriculture industry performs on any given day is at a single-family residence. 23% of the work is either commercial or industrial. Just 6% of the work for the industry is directly related to tree care. (Lawn and Landscape Magazine)
#13. The average net profit for a company that performs landscaping is about 10%. (Lawn and Landscape Magazine)
#14. Contractors within the arboriculture industry are optimistic about their forecasted outlook, with 4 out of 5 saying that their industry is healthy. At the same time, however, fewer than 1 in 5 contractors expect to have higher revenues in the coming year. (Lawn and Landscape Magazine)
#15. 60% of vendors who supply equipment to the arboriculture industry report an increase in sales over the year before. Another 55% report an increase in service business compared to the year before. (Green Industry Pros)
#16. 39% of equipment dealers say that they expect to sell more parts and equipment to the arboriculture industry in the coming year. Only 5% of dealers forecast a contraction of their business. (Green Industry Pros)
#17. 90% of people who own a yard believe that it is important to maintain it, though 2 out of 3 backyard owners say they would a hire a professional to help them care for their trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. (Harris)
#18. 63% of potential homeowners would be willing to pay more if it was surrounded by trees that were cared for by arboriculture professionals. (Husqvarna)
#19. Median revenue levels for landscaping companies have risen by more than $70,000 since 2014 in the United States. More contractors in 2016 (86%) were able to turn a profit compared to 2015 (84%) and 2014 (78%). (Lawn and Landscape)
#20. 18% of the businesses in the arboriculture industry for the U.S. have been in business for more than 30 years. About 30% of the industry has been in business for 10-19 years. (Lawn and Landscape)
#21. 32% of workers in the arboriculture industry are in the 25-44 age demographic. Workers in the industry are 4 times more likely to be above the age of 65 than they are to be under the age of 25. (Lawn and Landscape)
#22. The biggest fear in coming years for the arboriculture is a lack of qualified workers. 42% of industry professionals fear a quality labor shortage will appear within the next 3 years. (Lawn and Landscape)
#23. Just 8% of contractors that consider themselves to be a landscaper plan to incorporate true arboriculture services into their business plan within the next 12 months.
#24. Only 2% of landscaping businesses stated that their fastest-growing service at their location was tree and ornamental care. 3% of businesses anticipate that this will be their fastest-growing service in the next 12 months. (Lawn and Landscape)
Arboriculture Industry Trends and Analysis
According to a recent Harris Poll, about 3 out of 4 people feel that it is important to spend time outside in their yards. Even Millennials, which are often seen as the generation that prefers technology over nature, came in at 74%.
That is why the landscaping industry is seeing a shift in the service orders that it is receiving. Short-term services, such as lawn care, will always be available. Long-term tree services that preserve the overall health of the tree are taking a new priority. That is creating new employment opportunities while allowing providers to charge more for their services
There are many safety concerns that must be addressed in this industry. Far too many workers are not receiving an adequate level of training for the dangerous work they are doing. The industry itself is forecast to continue growing, but that trend could begin to contract should there be ongoing safety issues that remain unaddressed.