Reviews

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Which Lawn Care Service Should You Choose in 2023?

Choosing a lawn care service can be overwhelming, especially when comparing well-known companies like Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen. Homeowners can find out more about each company to discover which one comes out on top.
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Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen
Photo: bobvila.com

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A well-tended lawn can boost a home’s curb appeal and give homeowners a sense of pride. But DIY lawn care is hard, tedious work, and many homeowners simply don’t have the time they’d like to be able to dedicate to their lawn. For these customers, hiring a lawn care company makes sense—they can still get the benefits of a lush, green lawn without spending hours doing backbreaking work.

When it comes to choosing a lawn care company, homeowners will notice two names come up frequently: Lawn Doctor and TruGreen. But which company can provide the best service for busy homeowners? When comparing Lawn Doctor versus TruGreen, potential customers will find a lot of similarities, and while both lawn maintenance companies are solid choices, there’s one that comes out on top.

About Lawn Doctor

Lawn Doctor was founded in 1967 in Matawan, New Jersey, by friends Bob Magda and Tony Giordano. Magda owned a hardware store and often had customers come by to ask advice about lawn care, which led to weekly lawn care workshops in Magda’s store every Sunday to help educate customers on how to grow and maintain a lush and healthy lawn. Eventually, Magda and Giordano started Lawn Doctor to provide professional lawn care services to local homeowners. Today, Lawn Doctor has locations around the country and services 40 states through more than 600 franchise locations. The company creates customized lawn care plans to help homeowners grow green and healthy lawns and address any specific issues they have.

About TruGreen

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen
Photo: istockphoto.com

Like Lawn Doctor, TruGreen has been around for decades. The company was founded in 1973 in Troy, Michigan, with the goal of helping people achieve a healthy and lush lawn, no matter how many visits or treatments it takes. TruGreen still lives by that philosophy, providing science-based solutions designed to maximize lawn health year-round. TruGreen is a franchise business that services more than 2.3 million customers and has over 300 branches in the contiguous U.S. It’s one of the largest lawn care companies in the country thanks to its commitment to creating healthy lawns by performing customized services and advising customers on the best way to maintain their lawns for long-term health.

How We Compared Lawn Care Services

  • Reputation: As with any type of business, it’s important for customers to consider the reputation of the lawn care providers they’re considering. We reviewed Lawn Doctor and TruGreen’s reputations by looking at the history of each company and considering their online presence.
  • Service area: The service area of a lawn care company is an important consideration for customers to keep in mind; after all, if a company they’re researching doesn’t offer service in their area, the customer can cross that company off their list and move on. We compared Lawn Doctor and TruGreen’s service area to see which one cast the widest net.
  • Treatment plans: Lawn care companies typically offer several different treatment plans for customers to choose from, depending on their lawn care goals. We evaluated the treatment plans offered by Lawn Doctor and TruGreen to see which company offered the most varied treatment plans to suit a wider range of customers.
  • Product ingredients: The ingredients used on a customer’s lawn are an important consideration—especially for customers who want to make sure they go about their lawn care in a sustainable way. We compared ingredients in Lawn Doctor and TruGreen products, looking for transparency and natural ingredients designed to be kind to the environment.
  • Additional services: Although lawn care is the main service offered by Lawn Doctor and TruGreen, both also offer additional services such as pest control and tree or shrub care. We compared and contrasted each company’s additional services to see whether anything stood out.
  • Cost: Customers looking to hire local lawn care services will often look at cost as a major factor. We obtained quotes where possible and read customers’ experiences with costs at each company to determine which offered the best value.
  • Guarantees: A guarantee shows a customer that a company stands behind its work. We looked into the guarantees offered by TruGreen and Lawn Doctor to get an idea of what customers could expect after a service visit.
  • Customer reviews: Reading the reviews of customers who have experience working with different lawn care companies can give prospective customers a better idea of what to expect.

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Reputation

Both Lawn Doctor and TruGreen are well-known names in the lawn care industry. Both companies have decades of experience caring for the lawns of customers across the country. But TruGreen has a larger social media presence, with more followers and more frequent posts than Lawn Doctor on both Facebook and Twitter. TruGreen also appears to have more customer feedback than its competitor. However, customers will want to note that Lawn Doctor still has a strong online reputation; it’s just that TruGreen’s internet footprint is larger than Lawn Doctor’s.

Since Lawn Doctor and TruGreen are both franchise businesses, customers may find that their local franchise has a better reputation than one the next state over. To learn more about the local reputation of Lawn Doctor, TruGreen, and other lawn care companies, customers can search online for “lawn treatment near me” or “lawn experts near me.”

Verdict: TruGreen is a well-known company with a robust online presence. It has more followers on social media and seems to have more customer feedback than Lawn Doctor—even though Lawn Doctor has been in business for 6 years longer than TruGreen. 

Winner: TruGreen

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Service Area

Service area is an important consideration for customers when looking for a lawn care company—after all, if a company doesn’t offer service in their area, there will be no way for the customer to hire that company for their lawn care needs. Luckily, both TruGreen and Lawn Doctor have a nationwide footprint, which means customers in most locations will be able to find a Lawn Doctor or TruGreen location near them.

However, Lawn Doctor has a slight advantage over TruGreen when it comes to service area. When a customer hires either company to care for their lawn, they’ll essentially be working with a local branch or franchise, and Lawn Doctor has more locations than TruGreen—around 600 compared to TruGreen’s 300. This may make it easier for a customer to find a local Lawn Doctor service provider than a TruGreen provider, which can be beneficial for customers who live in areas where TruGreen locations are more sparse.

Verdict: Both Lawn Doctor and TruGreen are lawn care companies with presences spread throughout the United States, though customers have a greater chance of having access to Lawn Doctor’s services. Lawn Doctor has at least 600 locations, while TruGreen has at least 300.

Winner: Lawn Doctor

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen
Photo: istockphoto.com

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Treatment Plans

Customers will want to know exactly what is offered in a lawn care company’s treatment plan before signing a service contract. TruGreen is transparent about what’s included in its various treatment plans, so customers will know what to expect before they even reach out to TruGreen for a quote. TruGreen also combines different types of service in its treatment plans, so a customer who wants a basic lawn care plan won’t end up paying for tree care services they don’t need, and vice versa. TruGreen’s treatment plans are detailed in the table below.

TruGreen Treatment Plans

Available PlansDetails
TruMaintenance7 applications per year; includes weed control and fertilization
TruHealth8 applications per year; includes everything in TruMaintenance plus grub prevention and control
TruComplete8 applications per year; includes everything in TruHealth plus aeration and overseeding
TruSignature8 applications per year; includes everything in TruComplete plus shrub and tree care
Mosquito Control4 applications per year

Where TruGreen is transparent about what’s included in its plans, Lawn Doctor customers will need to do some digging or call and speak to a representative to find out what specific services are included in Lawn Doctor’s treatment plans. This can make it harder for customers to fully research and compare Lawn Doctor against its competitors—though some customers may prefer to work with a representative to better understand the available plans before choosing the best one for them. Lawn Doctor’s treatment plans, along with any available details, are listed in the table below.

Lawn Doctor Treatment Plans

Available PlansDetails
Fertilization and Weeds6 to 8 treatments per year; includes fertilization, pre-emergent weed control, and broadleaf weed and crabgrass control
Aeration and SeedingProprietary power-seeding procedure
Mosquito Control5 to 8 applications per year
Tick ControlNo application details provided
Perimeter Pest ControlNo application details provided

Customers looking for up-front information about included services will likely prefer working with a TruGreen lawn specialist, though Lawn Doctor does claim to offer a “one-of-a-kind lawn care service plan” designed to meet each customer’s needs.

Verdict: Both Lawn Doctor and TruGreen offer annual plans that start with lawn assessments and consist of up to eight visits per year. However, TruGreen is transparent about each of its plan’s details, providing comprehensive services that combine essential lawn tasks for smooth scheduling, while Lawn Doctor does not offer as much information up front. 

Winner: TruGreen

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Product Ingredients

As homeowners gain a better understanding of how lawn care products can affect their local environment, many are turning to more natural products with the aim of preserving pollinator populations and maintaining a clean water supply. These customers will likely place a high priority on the ingredients a lawn care company uses before signing a contract. Luckily, both Lawn Doctor and TruGreen offer organic fertilizer and herbicide options to allow customers to enjoy a lush lawn while also helping preserve the environment.

TruGreen’s TruNatural plan uses products it describes as 100 percent natural, though it’s not transparent about the specific ingredients in these products. However, TruGreen advises that its products have the following characteristics:

  • TruGreen products are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • TruGreen does not use products that are known skin sensitizers or that are known to cause allergic reactions.
  • TruGreen does not use products that contain known or suspected human carcinogens.
  • TruGreen does not use products that are known or suspected to leach to groundwater.

Lawn Doctor claims that many of the products it uses in its standard services are “natural and nature-safe.” But with Lawn Doctor, customers can opt to use natural or organic products in any service plan if they prefer—since the lawn treatment plans are customized to each customer’s specific needs, this allows Lawn Doctor to use products that best align with the customer’s preferences and values.

When it comes to product ingredients and natural lawn care products, customers typically can’t go wrong with either choice—though it’s advisable for customers to ask each lawn care service about its product ingredients before signing a contract if this is something they feel strongly about.

Verdict: Lawn Doctor and TruGreen both offer conventional as well as organic fertilizer and herbicide solutions. These “greener” lawn solutions are a benefit to customers who prefer to avoid harsher chemicals on their lawns.

Winner: Tie

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Additional Services

Many lawn companies offer additional services beyond the typical lawn care services, such as fertilization and weed control. Both Lawn Doctor and TruGreen offer a number of additional services designed to help customers address all their lawn concerns rather than needing to use separate companies for different tasks.

For example, Lawn Doctor offers the following services on top of its more traditional lawn care services.

  • Yard Armour Mosquito Control: Offers three levels of protection against disease-carrying mosquitoes to help prevent and control mosquitoes and maintain a mosquito-free yard all season long.
  • Tick control: Helps prevent ticks from hitching a ride on two- or four-legged family members.
  • Grub control: Applies an insecticide to help kill grubs that can damage the lawn.
  • Perimeter Pest Control: Helps prevent pests, such as fleas, silverfish, spiders, and ticks, from entering a home by applying pest control products around the home’s perimeter.
  • Fire ant control: Provides treatment to permanently rid a yard of fire ants.

Additionally, Lawn Doctor offers “special event sprays” where a customer can hire the company to spray their lawn if they have an upcoming outdoor event, such as a wedding or a family reunion, to help decrease the likelihood of mosquitoes biting guests. This can be a helpful service for customers who may not need regular mosquito control but want to make sure their guests are comfortable at their outdoor event.

In addition to its lawn care services, TruGreen also offers pest control services as well as other specialized services, such as the following.

  • Soil Amendment Services: Designed to assess and balance the pH of the soil to allow it to better absorb fertilizer for better overall lawn health.
  • Lawn Disease Service: Diagnoses lawn issues caused by disease or fungus and develops a plan to target the root cause of the problem.
  • Outdoor Nuisance Pest Control Plan: Targets ticks, fleas, chiggers, earwigs, ants (not including fire ants), and spiders.
  • Perimeter Pest Control: Treats around the perimeter of the home to prevent pests from entering.
  • TruGreen Mosquito Defense: Uses a professional-grade mosquito repellent to control mosquito populations within 24 hours.

Although both companies’ additional services are extensive, TruGreen comes out slightly ahead of Lawn Doctor thanks to offerings such as soil amendment and lawn disease services.

Verdict: Beyond lawn care, TruGreen and Lawn Doctor provide lawn pest control and tree and shrub care. Lawn Doctor offers an array of specific pest management programs along with targeted tick treatment, which can be a benefit for homes with pets that spend time outdoors. However, TruGreen offers a more comprehensive range of lawn services, including soil amendment and lawn disease treatment, along with outdoor pest treatment. 

Winner: TruGreen

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Cost

The cost of a service is often the deciding factor for customers looking to hire for lawn care. Ideally, customers will be able to find pricing information easily online so they can determine whether a company’s services will fit within their budget before getting a quote. Since the cost of lawn care services depends on numerous factors (such as the size of the lawn and the home’s geographic location), customers will need to do some digging to find pricing information for TruGreen or Lawn Doctor.

TruGreen does make the process slightly easier, though. Customers can enter their information on the TruGreen website, including their contact information and address, their lawn care goals, and the specific area of lawn they’re wanting to treat. They’ll then get a list of recommended TruGreen plans and pricing specific to the customer’s lawn. This will be the price the customer will pay, so there are no surprises; however, getting a quote means TruGreen has the customer’s contact information and may continue to email or call them even if they choose not to hire TruGreen.

On the other hand, Lawn Doctor prices aren’t listed on the company’s website, and customers cannot get an instant quote online for their lawn plan. Although customers can request a quote online by entering their name, address, and contact information, they’ll get a notification that the company will be in touch with them to discuss their project and determine pricing; there’s no way to get a price estimate online. This can be limiting for customers who want to have an idea of pricing before speaking with a representative.

Customers can also search online to see real quotes provided by both TruGreen and Lawn Doctor. In doing so, they’ll likely notice that TruGreen costs appear to be lower than Lawn Doctor’s, which may push customers on a limited budget toward TruGreen for their lawn care needs.

Verdict: Lawn Doctor doesn’t provide pricing information online or even by direct inquiry. On the other hand, TruGreen customers can fill out an online form and receive a pricing quote almost instantly. Based on some quotes reported by customers, TruGreen also appears to have lower average prices than Lawn Doctor.

Winner: TruGreen

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen
Photo: istockphoto.com

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Guarantees

No matter the type of company a customer is hiring, it’s important to look for any applicable guarantees that can help customers feel confident about hiring that company. Lawn Doctor and TruGreen both offer guarantees on their services and will make a return visit to a customer any time between scheduled treatments if the customer is not happy with the results. The Lawn Doctor guarantee is simple: “If you’re not 100% satisfied—we’ll make it right.” After the customer’s lawn has been treated by Lawn Doctor, they can reach out to the company if they are at all dissatisfied with the progress, and Lawn Doctor will return, free of charge, to reapply the application or refund the cost of the previous application.

TruGreen’s guarantee is very similar. If a customer isn’t satisfied with their lawn after an application, the company will return to examine the lawn and reapply the treatment if needed, free of charge, between scheduled treatments. These guarantees speak to both companies’ commitment to their customers and their products, as these return visits are offered at no extra cost to the customer.

Verdict: Lawn Doctor and TruGreen offer satisfaction guarantees and promise to return to a customer’s property between treatments for no extra charge if they’re unhappy with the results, which signals strong commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Winner: Tie

Lawn Doctor vs. TruGreen: Customer Reviews

Comparing online customer reviews can be a good way for homeowners to gauge which lawn care company will be the best fit for them. Lawn Doctor and TruGreen both have mixed reviews, with positive reviews praising both the lawn care services and the customer service representatives at both companies, and negative reviews claiming the opposite. For example, TruGreen has a 1.5 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, while Lawn Doctor’s Trustpilot rating is 3.2 out of 5. Trugreen also has a relatively low rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of 1.09 out of 5; however, on Consumer Affairs, the company’s rating is a much better 3.8 out of 5. With mixed reviews, it can be hard for potential customers to sift through and make a determination regarding which company has the most positive or least negative reviews.

It’s important for customers to note, however, that a disgruntled customer is often much more likely to leave a negative review than a happy customer, which may explain why nationwide companies such as Lawn Doctor and TruGreen have such mixed bags of reviews. When doing their research, potential customers will want to take negative reviews with a grain of salt and check whether the company has responded to negative reviews in an effort to make things right for the customer—a company that takes the time to acknowledge its customers’ poor experiences is much more likely to be willing to work with a customer should they, too, have a bad experience. Customers will also want to seek out Lawn Doctor reviews and TruGreen reviews on reputable websites to more fully understand each company’s pros and cons.

Overall, TruGreen and Lawn Doctor are relatively similar, which means that neither company stands out against the other in this category.

Verdict: Online customer reviews are mixed for both Lawn Doctor and TruGreen. Positive reviews of both companies cite professional technicians and favorable results. However, there are unfavorable reviews of both companies that note poor lawn outcomes and negative customer service interactions. Overall, though, Lawn Doctor garners more praise in online reviews than TruGreen. 

Winner: Lawn Doctor

Verdict: With over 50 years in business, over 300 locations nationwide, and comprehensive lawn care plans customized to nearly every type of property, TruGreen is an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a hired lawn care service. Lawn Doctor’s wide availability and reports of friendly technicians make it another solid choice for customers looking for lawn care, especially if outdoor pests are the problem. 

TruGreen is a top choice for homeowners looking for a reputable lawn care company that offers a wide range of services at a relatively low price. Customers can review services and get an instant quote online without needing to speak to a representative, and they can choose from a variety of plans designed to meet homeowners’ differing lawn needs. However, Lawn Doctor is a strong contender, especially for customers looking for specialized outdoor pest control services such as fire ant control or one-time mosquito spraying for special events. The best lawn care services for each homeowner will depend on their specific needs—and most homeowners will find their needs covered by either TruGreen or Lawn Doctor.

FAQs

Customers preparing to hire a lawn care company likely have a lot of questions—and once they’ve gotten to the point of comparing Lawn Doctor versus TruGreen, they may start feeling slightly overwhelmed. The following frequently asked questions can help potential customers better understand lawn care offerings from TruGreen and Lawn Doctor so they are confident they’re making an informed decision when they’re ready to hire.

Q. Does TruGreen offer natural lawn care?

TruGreen offers a natural lawn care service called TruNatural designed specifically for customers who are concerned about the effects traditional lawn care products such as fertilizer may have on the environment. TruNatural plans only use 100 percent natural fertilizer to help a customer’s lawn grow full and lush without the use of chemicals.

Q. How much does Lawn Doctor cost?

Although Lawn Doctor doesn’t publicize its price structure, research suggests that customers can expect to pay between $928 and $2,900 per year for Lawn Doctor services.

Q. How long does TruGreen take to work?

The exact amount of time customers can expect to wait before they see results from TruGreen will depend on the type of treatment applied and the original state of the lawn. TruGreen claims that customers will see a decline in weed growth between 10 and 14 days after the initial treatment, and recommends customers choose a year-round plan to see lasting results. TruGreen competitors will likely offer similar results, though customers are advised to check this information with each company they’re considering.

Q. What chemicals do Lawn Doctor and TruGreen use?

The answer to this question depends on the types of treatment a customer chooses. Both Lawn Doctor and TruGreen will typically use ingredients such as the ones listed in the Lawn Doctor product labels page, including synthetic fertilizers, selective herbicides, insecticides like imidacloprid, and fungicides.

Q. What time of year is best for lawn treatment?

It’s best to fertilize grass at a time when it’s actively growing. This means fertilizing cool-season grasses in spring or fall, and fertilizing warm-season grasses in late spring or early summer. In general, homeowners will want to wait until the temperature is consistently 55 degrees or higher before fertilizing.

Bob Vila and its parent company, Recurrent Ventures, put conservation and sustainability at the forefront of much of what we do. Though the solutions offered in this content are all effective, not all of them are strictly organic or sustainable. The staff of BobVila.com encourages readers to make informed choices about maintaining their home and property, whether it’s hiring professionals and companies or tackling a DIY project. Our goal is to empower readers to opt for solutions that will not have detrimental effects on the health and longevity of this planet and its inhabitants.

Sources: Moyer, Architectural Digest, TruGreen (1) (2) (3), Lawn Doctor (1) (2)