UKTC Archive

Re: Appraisal of Trees for Cultural Values

Subject: Re: Appraisal of Trees for Cultural Values
From: Russ Carlson
Date: Nov 15 2021 06:06:19
[Text converted from HTML]
No, Wayne, tree valuation and tree condition are not the same, and the
assessments are not much alike beyond that they are both subjective (but
not arbitrary, when done properly).

Valuation or appraisal is a process of approximating a monetary value for
some object (or concept) that provides benefits of some sort to the
owner/user. In cases of manufactured or created objects, such as
buildings, machines, artwork, and even businesses. We have various
methods of estimating that value, the purpose being to reduce those sets
of values to a common monetary unit. How many loaves of bread is that
well-driven luxury car worth?

Dealing with tree condition is a quite different situation. It is an
analysis of physical factors, guided by the science we know of how trees
grow, live, die, and decay. While we don't know everything as well as we
would like, our current knowledge is sufficient for the task, albeit far
from perfect at this stage.

Both processes are fact based, but the similarities diverge after that.
One attempts to estimate the worth of an object to people who use or
enjoy intangible benefits, the other assess an overall condition based on
physical condition that can be measured directly. As arborists, we can
discover the factors that affect tree structural stability and risk, but
we cannot do more than opine on the worth of objects to others with
vested interest in those objects.


---
Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist #354
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist PD-0008B
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

Tree Tech Consulting
114 Grand Canyon Court
Bear, DE 19701
302.832.1911 phone
thearborist@xxxx.com
www.tree-tech.com

Note: The information contained in this email and any attachments is
confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended only for the
use of the individuals(s) named in this email. If you are not the
intended recipient, you must not read, use, or disseminate the
information contained herein or in any attachments. If you are not the
intended recipient, please delete this email and all attachments now, and
notify the sender. Thank you.




On 11/14/21 11:36 PM, Wayne Tyson wrote:

  Good elucidation, Russ, especially in considering the fact that elucidation
  ain't really feasible; one is confounded by the great herds of "buts" that
  stampede over any reasoned attempt. This, as you imply, ends up being a lot
  of hocus pocus rather than substance. I quite agree that it is the job of
  the tree professional to make a determination of relevant facts, and leave
  it to those involved to decide about the monetary value. The same is true
  in the realm of tree condition assessment.
  
  WT
  
  On Sun, Nov 14, 2021 at 1:43 PM Russ Carlson   <thearborist@xxxx.com>   
wrote:
    

    [Text converted from HTML]
    Hi, Michael.
    
    I'll offer my thoughts, but they may not apply to what you are looking
    for, being as you asked on UKTC.
    
    I've done a few appraisals dealing with historical and cultural
    significance, but these were under the CTLA methodologies. As I see it,
    it doesn't matter which system you choose, the problems are similar. We
    are trying to assign a rather arbitrary monetary amount to a living
    organism. I say arbitrary because because there are few, if any, actual
    standards that can consistently and reasonably make the connection
    between the benefits received and some amount of money. How much is a
    canine lifetime companion worth? How much is a child worth? A father or
    mother? We are dealing with things that cannot be directly bought or
    sold, although with trees we are closer to that and often use a
    comparison method as representative.
    
    Here's the problem when using any cost measure of valuation: We can start
    with an estimate of replacement/restoration cost, however that might be
    determined. Usually that will give us a maximum for the cost. We then
    depreciate that amount for known deficiencies, detriments, impairments,
    etc. How that depreciation is applied is a matter of method and protocol,
    whether as direct monetary amounts (reduce 'value' by £$xx for a weak
    crotch, £$yy for trunk cavity....), or as percentages (as in CTLA) or
    some other technique. So we start with a maximum cost amount
    (representing 100%), then depreciate to reduce that amount to account for
    known deficiencies.
    
    But here's the problem: None of this accounts for the intangible benefits
    that people derive in some cases. These are the things like historic and
    cultural desirability, but can also include the more personal things
    (remember poor Fido from above– your pets holds no special value to me,
    but a whole lot to you). While known deficiencies can be reduced by some
    amount from 100% to 0% (whether you calculate as the amount to reduce by
    or the residual after depreciation), the amount of these intangible
    benefits are open-ended. We don't subtract from the maximum amount, we
    add to it to account for the special benefits and attributes. Instead of
    working within a finite set of boundaries (0 to 100%), we are now dealing
    with a range that has no limit. And the amounts are entirely subjective.*
    
    So the quandary is there: how much is enough? How much is too much? And
    is it the place of the all-knowing arborist to make that decision? (I say
    it is not.) In cases of this type, I do what research I can, but posit
    the final decision back to the decider/trier of fact for that final
    amount. In several such cases, I have suggested some amount that seems
    reasonable (to me) based on similar cases that have settled or been
    decided. Often I represent it as a multiplier of the appraised value I
    present. US state laws often allow double or treble damages in tort
    cases, so that might be an option. Other cases might use different
    measures. But ALWAYS present this as an additional amount to be added or
    multiplied, not as part of the appraised amount. And make it clear that
    you do not necessarily endorse it, that it is only a suggestion.
    
    * The only case where the additive amounts might not be subjective is if
    you can find some comparative situation. And that might have been
    entirely subjective in itself.
    
    
    ---
    Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
    ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist #354
    ISA Board Certified Master Arborist PD-0008B
    ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification
    
    Tree Tech Consulting
    114 Grand Canyon Court
    Bear, DE 19701
    302.832.1911 phone    thearborist@xxxx.com        www.tree-tech.com    
    Note: The information contained in this email and any attachments is
    confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended only for the
    use of the individuals(s) named in this email. If you are not the
    intended recipient, you must not read, use, or disseminate the
    information contained herein or in any attachments. If you are not the
    intended recipient, please delete this email and all attachments now, and
    notify the sender. Thank you.
    
    
    
    
    On 11/14/21 1:37 PM, Michael Richardson wrote:
    
      I am wondering if anybody has experience or references for appraising
    trees
      that have a cultural significance.
    
      I know of increasing the value within the CAVAT system but this does not
      provide me with the detail of how and why to increase the value.
    
      Any help is appreciated.
    
      M
    
    
    
    
      Michael Richardson B.Sc.F., BCMA
      Ontario MTCU Qualified Arborist
      Richardson Tree Care
      Richardsontreecare.ca
      613-475-2877
      800-769-9183
    
              
<http://www.richardsontreecare.ca/images/Tree_Doc_logo_email.png>    
    
    
    
    
    --
    The UK Tree Care mailing list
    To unsubscribe send     mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info    
    The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
    Stockholm Tree Pits    https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk      

  




-- 
The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk