You may need a tree appraisal as part of an estimate of your property value. You may also need a tree appraisal because a tree was damaged and removed and you have to file an insurance claim. Even if damage isn’t covered by an insurance policy, getting an appraisal can still be beneficial — the IRS allows you to deduct property damage not covered by insurance.
A tree appraisal must be conducted by a certified arborist. It can be a complex, detailed process, and it requires extensive expertise with tree growth and the species.
Your appraiser will consider four main factors.
- Size: Your appraiser will measure the height, the trunk’s diameter at 1 to 4.5 feet from the ground, branch size and the spread and thickness of the bark.
- Species: The species is important to the value of the tree, because rarer and more desirable trees are worth more. Some species take decades to grow to maturity, so an older tree of a certain species may have a higher value.
Trees that are prone to disease won’t be worth as much. A local arborist will know which species are particularly valuable based on your region.
- Condition: It takes a trained arborist to properly evaluate a tree’s health. They will examine the roots, trunk, branches and foliage in an effort to diagnose any health problems and determine the tree’s general condition.
- Location: Where the tree is located on the property is important, because it affects how the tree functions in the surrounding environment, such as providing shade to nearby plants or offering aesthetic value in the context of a hardscape installation.
Three Approaches to Use
Once data is collected, your appraiser will use one of three formulaic approaches to calculate the tree’s value, or they may use a combination of each.
- Cost approach: This formula is used to determine the value of the tree based on the cost to replace or repair it. For mature trees, replacement costs vary greatly based on the size and species. It may be impossible to find a tree of the same size and species as the damaged one, but if you can, the cost of transporting a replacement is factored into the total estimation.
- Income approach: If the property in question provides income to the owner, such as in the case of a rental home or commercial building, the formula used to figure the tree’s value will differ.
- Market approach: By comparing properties in the general area, the market approach formula accounts for how much value the tree added to the property.
Depend on an Expert
You can trust Rivendell Tree Experts to conduct swift, fair tree appraisals whenever you need them. Contact us today to set up an appointment.