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Maureen Sexsmith-West

ISA Certified Arborist PR-4600A

I could cite numerous references where the benefits of trees are listed. Trees provide all our basic necessities – food, shelter, fuel, air. Then we add in employment, furniture, medicine, homes and food for wildlife, pollution control, erosion control, soil amendments, places to camp under, stress relief or therapy, hide unattractive views, represent religious significance, hobbies – you get the picture.

It is no secret that homes with established trees are more appealing than those without. Studies have estimated that trees may account for up to 15 percent of the value of a residential property. For example, a $200,000 house on a lot with three mature trees and various shrubs and landscape plants might owe as much as $30,000 of its value to the trees. On the reverse, a yard full or weeds, improperly pruned trees or neglected landscapes can detract from its appeal, making it more difficult to sell or enjoy. Neglected trees can pose real hazards and a significant investment of time and money to get them safe and back into good health. If a branch breaks off and damages your car – the deductible may be $500 where as having the branch pruned may have only cost $200. Inadequate watering also contributes significantly to insect related issues. $20 for water or $100 for spraying? Ongoing care saves you money in the long run. Just as you would schedule oil changes for your car, blow out your irrigation lines or schedule regular vet checks for your pet, plan for annual yard maintenance over a three year program. This will spread the cost over a longer period of time – addressing different plants/problems each year during the appropriate health care season for each species of tree or feature in your landscape.

Not unlike having your home appraised, tree valuations can be performed by our Certified Arborists. A dollar value is assigned based on species, age, health and industry formulas. This value can be used in determining insurance claims for vandalism, fires, accidental damage, and construction related damage and so on. Take time to read your insurance policy with respect to your landscape to see what, if any coverage, you have and under what circumstances it can be used. Herbicide drift damage may be limited on acreages to within a certain distance of the house. Storm damaged trees may only cover the cost of removal and not replacement.

The other feature we offer clients is our ability to complete a landscape inspection. Like a home inspection, we have the ability to prepare a written report on the condition and care of your landscape assets. When considering buying a home – don’t forget to consider the costs associated with after care. If a tree represents a hazard, you may be able to include addressing this liability as a condition of the sale.

For more on this subject: Tree Valuations


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