The Penn-Del Chapter of the ISA hopes that you are all remaining safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have been in contact with federal and several state agencies in Pennsylvania and Delaware to determine how the government rulings on business closures will impact our industry.  Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued an advisory that includes tree care as a critical industry. In the DHS report, under the ‘Energy’ heading, there is verbiage that allows for vegetation management.  ‘Public Works’ includes businesses that “provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences” and “Support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of needed facilities, transportation, energy, and communications.”  Again, this is only an advisory. States are able to make the final decision as to what businesses or industries are permitted to continue their operations and to what extent. To view the advisory statement and information, follow this link:

State Orders:

Delaware:  Governor Carney has issued a ‘stay-at-home’ order for the State of Delaware to go into effect Tuesday, March 24th until May 15th.  

Pennsylvania:  Governor Wolf has issued orders that all ‘non-life-sustaining’ businesses in Pennsylvania must close their physical locations starting on Monday, March 23rd until further notice.

How this relates to our industry:

Both states have a similar list of businesses that are permitted to remain in operation.  While neither list specifies arboriculture or tree care, there are a number of areas of business that do fall under the guidelines that are allowing businesses to remain in operation.  Our interpretation of the orders allows tree care companies to continue working in relation to utility distribution, emergency work, and hazard abatement. Regular tree maintenance activities are not considered life-sustaining or essential in relation to the Governors’ orders.  In addition, tree nursery operations are permitted to continue. Employers must follow social distancing policies, protect high-risk workers, provide hand-washing or sanitizer stations, and follow all health guidelines. There is no mention of residential or commercial plant health care applications.  After conversations with the PA Dept. of Health and the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development, companies may file for an exemption to continue pesticide applications in Pennsylvania by going to their website

Penn-Del Statement:

The Penn-Del Chapter of the ISA wants everyone to stay safe and protect one another.  The best way to do that is to simply stay at home. Staying at home will not only help you and our industry come out of this, but it will also help your family, friends, and neighbors.  With that being said, we are not in a position to decide for our members what work falls into the allowable operations while these orders are in place. It is up to the business owners and employees to work within the confines of the declarations.  If you are insistent that the work is ‘life-sustaining’, you must still make every effort to prevent contact with people. Have crew members meet on the job site instead of at an office or yard, employees not sharing tools or equipment, and taking care to wash your hands and face.  Furthermore, contact with clients and the public should be avoided at all costs. Again, please stay at home if you are able to do so. The government is enacting programs to help businesses and employees weather this pandemic together.

Below are some additional links for information that may help.

Delaware List of Businesses:

Pennsylvania List of Businesses:

Resources for DE businesses:

Resources for PA businesses:

TCIA resources for businesses and employees:

US Small Business Admin:

Attached is a joint statement from the ISA and TCIA.