Should You Save Your Favorite Tree?
Using Your Head and Your Heart
Is there anything more difficult than trying to decide if you should remove or save a damaged or ailing feature tree on your property? The tree may be older than you are, and have been in place since before your home was built. The economics of the decision include considering the value of the tree, and the cost to restore and maintain it. And if you have lived in your home a while, the emotions of tree evaluation pull heavily on your heart, as you may treasure memories, privacy, shade, or the sheer beauty associated with a particular tree.
The best tree minds in the world have collaborated to produce a publication that creates a precise mathematical process for assessing the value of a tree. The Guide for Plant Appraisal, now in its 9th edition, commissioned by the American Society of Consulting Arborists, authored by the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, and published by the International Society of Arboriculture contains a step-by-step process for tree evaluation. It even has an accompanying workbook with tools to determine replacement cost value, similar to the worksheets used by home appraisers. Where as home appraisal involves key metrics such as square footage, number of rooms, age and type of construction; tree appraisal involves size, species, condition and location.
A certified arborist can take you through the economics of saving or replacing a tree, and if the arborist works for my company they are equally capable of discussing the emotional, aesthetic and environmental aspects of the decision. The SavATree team is taught to ask questions to be sure that we are addressing what is important to you, the property steward, in order to provide a strategy for maintaining your property's value both economically and emotionally. We need to understand how your family (or company, for commercial properties) uses the property, what your plans are for the future, and what is important to you in order to provide sensible solutions. And yes, true to our name, we are a little biased sometimes as we favor saving important trees!
by Daniel van Starrenburg, President
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