COVID-19 Essential Services


During these uncertain times, many state and local governments are shifting to “essential” work only.  Hazard tree removal, utility line clearance tree trimming and maintaining our urban forests, particularly as related to the impact of invasive pests, are essential components of maintaining our infrastructure.  While the jurisdictions, business activities affected, and length of time for the closure may differ, most will exempt essential businesses or essential business activities that relate to the safety of the public.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) deem certain aspects of tree care to meet the definition of “essential business” given the fact that the performance of several highly skilled services directly protects the safety of the public and the safe operation of buildings and residences.

When determining what aspects of tree care are “essential business activities” please review the following list as members from TCIA and ISA have shared:

  • Hazard tree removal or removal of a dangerous tree
  • Pruning of dead, dying or dangerous limbs
  • Treatment for invasive insects which if left untreated would rapidly destroy a tree causing a hazard
  • Utility line clearance
  • Road safety clearance
  • Cabling or bracing a hazardous tree
  • Mitigating storm damage
  • Emergency response readiness
  • Treatment for ticks, and mosquitoes or other public health treatments
  • Removal of fire damaged or fuel trees in a fire hazard area
  • Assessment of hazard trees or pest issues for removal or treatment as described above

As stated in the letter from TCIA and ISA on COVID-19, “In times of emergency, each company must decide whether to continue with operations as normal.  These are unusual times, and each jurisdiction may have drastically different rules and regulations regarding the operations of the business.  TCIA and ISA are closely monitoring the constantly evolving local, state, and federal policy regarding essential versus nonessential businesses in terms of business closures during lockdowns, and we will update members with any information that may impact their businesses.


Ohio Department of Health Resource Center

ISA/TCIA Essential Services Letter 

Ohio Business Resource Page