Reno-area lawn care, tree service businesses blooming amid pandemic

Arbor Pros, a Reno-based tree care company, has seen a significant surge in business since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the area, owner Chayce Cassani said.
Photo: Arbor Pros

RENO, Nev. – Brett Gard’s phone didn’t ring for weeks.

That was in late March, not long after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued an order to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gard, owner of Tailored Lawn Care in Reno, began to temper his sales expectations as he watched the economy stall and unemployment rise.

“We were all pretty concerned because I had hired a few people who were expecting a very busy spring … and my phone was pretty quiet,” said Gard, noting that his company’s planned March sales were due to COVID- related cancellations was down $ 18,560.

However, three months later, Gard’s phone didn’t stop ringing.

Whether from a cure for feeling blue or scratching the itch on a green thumb, people seem to have been drawn to doing more gardening projects. As a result, the demand for lawn maintenance and landscaping businesses, which are classified as essential businesses, is thriving in northern Nevada and beyond.

“After those first three weeks, we received like crazy,” said Gard. “I’m not sure it was because of the stimulus checks people got because we started getting a lot of one-off projects. I think there were a lot of people who were at home because they worked from home and they found that their landscape had different needs. “

As a result, Tailored Lawn Care, launched in 2014, had its best April ever, according to Gard. In particular, the company had sales of $ 63,118 – an increase of nearly 100% from April last year ($ 32,324).

While Gard believes COVID played a role in the uptrend, he noted that since last year the company has added $ 1,200 per month in marketing spend and increased its social media presence.

Gard, who employs 10 people, said he wanted to increase hires to meet growing demand, adding, “We are just bogged down with work.”

Bespoke lawn care isn’t the only local business that’s overflowing with work.

Arbor Pros, a tree care company in the greater Reno-Tahoe area, has nearly doubled its crew size from 16 to 31 workers to meet the surge in business in the area since the pandemic, owner Chayce Cassani said.

The Reno-based Arbor Pros have doubled their crew size since March to meet increased demand during the pandemic.
Photo: Arbor Pros

Cassani added that he hopes to increase his crew to 40 workers by the end of the summer.

“It’s gotten extremely busy,” Cassani told the NNBW. “I think that’s because the trees popped out of the spring season. And second, COVID gave the people who were at home, looking out the windows, hanging around their yards all day and saying, “Hey, we need to do something about this tree or plant some trees.”

In addition to a surge in the residential business, Cassani said the company has also seen a large influx of commercial work – from homes to businesses to shopping malls – to look after mature vegetation and trees around buildings. Overall, Cassani estimated that the company’s residential and commercial building revenue has increased by 25% to 30% in the past few months.

It’s a welcome change for Arbor Pros, who lost nearly $ 100,000 on dates that were crossed off the calendar in the first three weeks after the state closed, Cassani said.

“When COVID hit back in March, we definitely had a pretty significant slowdown in work,” Cassani said, citing cancellations from apartment complexes, HOAs and office buildings as the main drivers. “Since then, we’ve pretty much doubled the size of our business in a month and got a lot more equipment.”

Cassani and Gard are close to summer and due to the COVID effect and stronger establishment in the market, they expect to see their busiest summers yet.

Cassani said he was forecasting Arbor Pros, who raised $ 1.5 million last year for sales of around $ 4 million in the next 12 months.

According to Gard, Tailored Lawn Care has grown 100% year over year over the past three years in terms of both sales and customers, what he termed an “unnatural growth rate”. One contributing factor is the surge in high-paying tech companies moving out of the Bay Area and expanding their clientele.

“Now our customers range from 20 year olds to 80 to 90 year olds,” he said. “I think any household service industry or provider will continue to experience tremendous growth. It’s exciting and definitely unique in the Reno region. “

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