Damaged trees may have monetary value

International Society of Arboriculture offers tips

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—While it’s impossible to prevent storms, accidents and air pollution from causing damage to your trees and plants, it is possible to recapture your landscape losses through an insurance claim, or as a deduction from federal income taxes, advises the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

How much are your trees worth? Most likely, more than you think. Homeowners invest a lot of time, care and money into landscaping their property, expecting beauty and shade in return. But the unexpected “return” on that investment is that trees have monetary value.

When you stop to consider that landscaping can be worth up to 20 percent of your home’s total property value, you’ll understand why it’s worthwhile to protect the investment you’ve made in your greenery.

According to the ISA, a tree’s value is based on four factors: tree size, tree type, tree condition and overall tree location based on its functional and aesthetic purposes. A professional tree and landscape appraiser can determine where your trees or plants fall under these categories.

If your trees and landscape are damaged, ISA recommends you do the following:

Contact your homeowner’s insurance company;

Have the insurance company send a professional tree and landscaping appraiser out to your property immediately after the damage has occurred;

Have the appraiser determine your financial loss, including the cost of removal and repair;

Contact a local ISA Certified Arborist if repair or replacement is needed; and/or

Just as you would with any other valuable asset, document your investment in landscaping to help establish its worth. ISA suggests taking pictures of trees and plants while they are healthy to make insurance processing simpler with “before and after” examples.

The ISA, headquartered in Champaign, Ill., is a nonprofit organization supporting tree care research around the world. As part of ISA’s dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only internationally-recognized certification program in the industry.

For more info, contact a local ISA Certified Arborist or visit treesaregood.com.

From the July 5-11, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!