The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) recently met in Baltimore, Maryland to examine the potential for new organizational relationships in order to provide increased value to the green industry.

Boards for the two organizations issued the following statement: “We are excited by the potential of a new association that would unify our industry’s voice and increase our ability to serve and advance the interests of our members, our businesses, and the green care industry.”

“At a time when so many in our industry are offering a wide array of services, it makes good sense to have the representation of one organizational leader,” stated Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, president of PLANET.

“Currently, when we promote the environmental benefits of our services, we do so holistically to include lawn care, landscape services, and tree care as well as the benefits of indoor plant care,” Hildebolt explained. When PLANET was formed in 2005, its leadership expressed the hope that it would be the first step in a process to expand the scope and capabilities of a single, larger national association for the industry. “Unification with TCIA would fulfill a longtime goal,” added Hildebolt.

“Seven years ago, TCIA embarked on a 10-year plan we call the Transformation of the Industry to advance the level of safety, professionalism, and public and governmental awareness of tree care companies. We have made great strides,” stated Terrill Collier, chair of the TCIA board. “Now, we have a historic opportunity to create a future that will redefine the green industry. Our industry sectors are more connected with each other and our customers than ever before. Together, we can lead the way for communities and consumers to protect the health and safety of our environment as the voice of the green industry. A unified organization can invest in technology and infrastructure that will allow the continued development of programs that benefit members as they seek to run even more successful companies.”

Both parties will continue discussions to create and design the plan for a new organization that will maintain the current community structure. This includes keeping PLANET’s specialty groups in place and keeping the TCIA community together, while also maintaining the positive characteristics that have made both organizations successful. To this effort, both boards have made a good faith commitment to create a new industry organization that would replace the existing associations and to design a successor organization that will increase value to everyone and be approved by both memberships.

Additional details will be worked out and reported on as more information becomes available. “We intend for our process to be transparent and collaborative,” said Collier. “To this end, we will work to keep all members of the green industry informed about our progress.”