How Much Are My Trees Worth?

Find out how valuable your trees are florida trees


Trees are intrinsically valuable. They add natural beauty to our landscapes, provide a home for birds and other wildlife, and stand as living monuments to the people that planted them. But because trees can also reduce heating and air conditioning costs by 15%, increase the overall value of a property by as much as 20%, and can be expensive to replace, trees have an economic value as well. Here’s how to determine how much your trees are worth.




Factors That Determine The Value of a Tree
Although tree appraisals are most often made to determine the value of a tree when it has been damaged, in a storm, during construction or due to the negligence of a third party, you can also enlist the support of a professional to estimate the value of your healthy trees. Here are four factors arborists, insurance companies and real estate appraisers use in their initial assessment, to determine the value of a tree.

  • Size - As a rule of thumb, the larger the tree the longer it takes to grow and thus, the more valuable the tree. To determine the exact size, appraisers will measure either the height of the tree or the trunk diameter.

  • Type - By nature, certain species of trees are more valuable than others. Some types of trees take longer to grow, some have shorter lifespans and some are more susceptible to disease. All these inherent factors affect tree value.

  • Condition - Healthy, well maintained trees have substantially more value than trees that are either poorly maintained, or trees that are diseased. An arborist will examine the roots, the trunk, the branches and the leaves, to determine both the structural integrity and the overall health of the tree.

  • Location - The same exact types of trees on different properties or in different locations on the same property can have substantially different values. If the location of the tree helps frame the house and adds much needed shade in just the right area, it will be much more valuable than the same tree in a remote part of your yard.

  • Appraisal Methods
    After this initial assessment, the actual appraisal can begin. There are two appraisal methods that determine the overall value of a tree. They include the replacement cost method and the cost of repair method.

  • Replacement cost method - This method estimates the cost of replacing the tree in the same location with the same species in the same condition and when possible, with the same size. When appraising a tree that is too large to replace, the value of the original tree is obtained by calculating the cost per square inch of trunk diameter, using the largest available transplantable tree.

  • Cost of repair - Just as it sounds, the cost of repair method assesses how much it will cost to repair the tree and bring it back to its original condition, or as close as possible to its original condition. The tree cure could include cabling and bracing, or treatment for wounds, insects or disease.

  • Protect The Second Most Valuable Thing You Own
    To people that have a number of trees on their property, trees are the second most valuable things that they own. To protect your investment, take pictures of your trees and consider having an arborist or a landscape appraiser assess their value, before misfortune strikes.









    Jon Wilbur is an ISA Certified Arborist and co-owner of Pinellas Tree Service, in Clearwater.

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    Copyright, 2005, All Rights Reserved

    Jon Wilbur