Guide for Plant Appraisal Clears Up Post-Storm Debates
For Immediate Release
For Further Information Contact Sonia Garth:
(217) 355-9411 Ext 217
Book Clears Up Post-Storm Debates
A publication entitled Guide for Plant Appraisal may not seem to be
a grabber on the marketplace, but it certainly is having an impact on the
peace of mind and the wallets of property owners caught up in seasonal
The book is the ultimate reference for professional appraisers called in to
determine the cost of the damage to landscape trees and shrubs wrought by
winds, rain storms, ice and wet snow loads. It is the collective work of
experts in arboriculture and landscaping who together have set guidelines
on determining the worth of a wide range of trees in a
multitude of settings.
The guide is recognized by the courts and insurance companies as a reliable
arbiter in settling damage claims or assessing losses in property values.
Without it, homeowners attempting to receive compensation for damage to
trees could be entangled in endless debates based on nothing else but
Five green-industry associations collaborated in the making of the
national guidelines. Each one endorses the publication by urging property
owners to engage only those appraisers who rely on its procedures as their
primary source in making their calculations. The groups are the
International Society of Arboriculture, the American Association of
Nurserymen, the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, the American Society of
Consulting Arborists, and the Tree Care Industry Association.
According to officials of the International Society of Arboriculture, good
landscaping can boost the market value of a property from 5% to as much as 20%. Trees
are therefore tangible assets. Some homeowners have added comprehensive
coverage riders to their home insurance policies to cover at least limited
storm losses to shade and ornamental trees.
Beyond this protection, the IRS may permit an income tax deduction to those
who can show they incurred a loss in excess of 10% of adjusted gross income
due to a severe storm during the tax year. In all cases, claims must be
supported by credible figures.
Providing those credible figures can be confounding, especially if informed
and universally accepted guidelines are lacking. Evaluation must take into
account tree species and size, along with tree health prior to the storm,
landscape value of the tree in relation to the buildings and other
components of the overall landscape, the extent of damage to the tree, and
the cost of restoration both to a particular tree and to the overall
landscape. The guidelines agreed to by the five associations take all of these
factors into consideration.
Owners should take photographs of their landscapes every two or three years
to substantiate tree number, size, condition, and appearance in case
something does happen. If tree loss does occur, photographs should be
taken and, if possible, the tree should be appraised before it is removed.
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a nonprofit organization supporting
tree care research around the world. Headquartered in Champaign, Ill., ISA is dedicated to the care and
preservation of shade and ornamental trees. For more information, contact a local ISA Certified Arborist