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Arbor Age 2014 Buying Intention Survey Results

For some insight into how tree care professionals plan to spend their money in the coming year, and the factors that influence those buying decisions, Arbor Age recently asked readers for feedback. The results of our survey are as follows:


What equipment do you plan on purchasing in the next year? (Check all that apply)

Chain Saws     77%

Manual Hand Tools or Hand Saws     57%

Work Apparel             51%

Rope (climbing)          49%

Safety Gear     45%

Climbing Harnesses    43%

Rope (rigging) 43%

Chippers          34%

Computers and Software        32%

Stump Grinders           26%

Grinders (tub) 11%

Air Excavation Equipment     9%

Loaders           9%

Tree Transplanting Equipment            9%

Right-of-Way Equipment       6%

Grinders (horizontal)   4%


What vehicles or lifts do you plan to purchase in the next year? (Check all that apply)

Trucks (pick-up)          44%

Trucks (chipper body)             34%

Trucks (bucket/lift)     28%

Aerial Lifts (self-propelled)    9%

Aerial Lifts (towed)    6%


What tree health management products do plan to purchase in the next year? (Check all that apply)

Insecticides     61%

Fertilizers        47%

Fungicides       45%

Cabling and Bracing Equipment         42%

Spray/Application Equipment             40%

Tree Injection Equipment       37%

Soil Amendments       29%

Miticides         24%

Tree Growth Regulators                     24%

Diagnostic Equipment                        18%

Mycorrhizae    18%

Tree Stakes                  16%

Tree Guards                11%


What factors influence the brand of equipment purchases? (Check all that apply)

Quality                        75%

Prior Experience with Brand  71%

Price    54%

Recommendation of Others    44%

Advertising     15%


How much do you plan to spend on equipment and supplies during the next year?

Under $10,000                        30%

$10,000 – $24,999       17%

$25,000 – $49,999       13%

$50,000 – $99,999       21%

$100,000 – $249,999   13%

$250,000 – $500,000   4%

More than $500,000    2%




  • For the most part, the percentage of respondents planning to purchase various types of equipment/supplies, in each category, during the next year is up several percentage points from our survey results of the past 3 years. This suggests that our respondents are ready to spend more on equipment in the coming year than they have the past three years.
  • In terms of equipment, it is no surprise that chain saws top the list at 77%, as chain saws have been number 1 on this list since 2011 (with more than 70% of respondents planning to buy chain saws in each of those years).
  • The biggest riser this year is chippers (at 34%), which is up significantly compared to only 16% of our respondents in 2013 indicating that they planned to buy chippers (19% in 2012 and 22% in 2011).
  • Another riser is stump grinders, with 26% of our respondents indicating that they intend to buy stump grinders in the coming year (compared with 18% in 2013, 12% in 2012 and 13% in 2011).
  • One odd area of decline is that only 45% of respondents indicated that they intend to purchase safety gear in the coming year (down from 61% 2013, 63% in 2012, and 58% in 2011). Hopefully this is an anomaly and not indicative of respondents approach to PPE.
  • With regard to vehicles, the amount of respondents planning to purchase chipper trucks is up for our 2014 survey (at 34%). By comparison, only 22% in 2013, 23% in 2012 and 19% in 2011 indicated their intent to purchase chipper trucks.
  • Pest management continues to be at the forefront with 61% of respondents planning to purchase insecticides in the coming year.
  • Overall quality of the product and familiarity with a brand continue to trump price in terms of factors that influence the buying decision.


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