Tips From The Top

by Daniel van Starrenburg, CEO

SavATree CEO

What Are Trees Worth?

As someone who has spent most of my life advocating for the proper stewardship of trees, losing one to a storm or disease is a worst-case scenario.

Decades ago, as an arborist myself, my first thoughts when confronted with a failed tree were often for the beauty lost, both on the property and for the community as a whole. My second thoughts tended to the environmental impact, as established trees offer so much and are invaluable to ecosystems.
When talking with a property owner, however, we often came to discuss another aspect: the impact to the property value.
Every tree, whether you realize it or not, has a hard value. Established trees in particular are an immensely valuable resource, as they typically take decades to replace.

Quantifying that value is a talent of SavATree consulting arborists, who are regularly called on by insurance professionals and property managers to provide input on this very question. To answer it, we gather information from four key sources, each of which have a tremendous influence on tree valuation.

The species of the tree tells us its growth characteristics and disease and insect tolerance, while the condition of the tree allows us to factor in the way the tree’s current health and structure impacts its worth. The larger the tree, the more difficult to replace, so the size, which we measure by the diameter of the trunk at breast height, is one more crucial component. Finally, we note the location of the tree and the aesthetic or functional qualities it contributes to the site.

While these key metrics help our experts to put a dollar number on a tree, it is vital to remember that the ultimate value of a tree is tied to qualities that are incredibly difficult to quantify objectively—specifically, those qualities that come first to my—and your SavATree arborist’s—mind.

There is profound emotional value in the beauty, privacy, and shade trees provide us, just as there is an immediate environmental benefit in a tree’s ability to produce oxygen, sequester carbon, filter air and water, and provide windbreaking, erosion control, habitats, medicine, fruit, and more.

While SavATree can certainly put a dollar number on your trees, it’s unlikely that one number will ever be able to cover their true worth, both for you and for the generations to come.


Click here to return to newsletter homepage