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Shade Tree Class

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Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Arborists and Horticulturalist developed a method years ago to estimate the value of a tree....for trees that cannot be transplanted....i.e.- 10"± or bigger they use a table created by themselves, which skews the value of large trees so much that the tree can be calculated by this replacement costing method as much as the total value of the property on which it sits...in other words, it is not a credible method.

The courts are full of suits where someone damaged by an errant waterline installation or a homeowner who let a fire out of control burn a few sprouts on the neighbors are being sued for millions (in some cases) over trees easily replaced for a few thousand. Common sense may prevail, but sometimes not. Insurance companies, in particular, need appraisers to bring some common sense to this arborist method of appraising trees.

I took a CE course this week and learned the nuances of shade tree appraising (not to be confused with timberland appraising) and the valuation of the landscaping of a lot or small tract. This is something that anyone whether CR or CG can do, in fact, CR's would be better qualified to extract what market data is out there regarding residential landscaping...how the position of trees affect the ambiance of the property, and the overall appearance and utility of trees to cool and display a home attractively.

It is not brain surgery and it is lucrative. How much do you think an insurance company will pay per hour for you to analyze a property and estimate a loss when Joe the Damaged has some retired Phd in horticulture claiming that 5' diameter hollow Oak tree is worth $56,000 on a 2 acre lot with a 1,200 SF home? That was one example.

The other recent case the instructor was involved in was 200 or so trees from twigs to small trees used for screening between a house and a highway damaged by a fiber optic company who dug across the wrong R-O-W. An arborist appraised it for a cool $500,000 while the appraiser concluded it was $10,000 ± which the courts accepted after the arborist was impeached by that same appraiser's analysis of the arborist's report. The lawyer shredded the arborist's methodology. The insurance company let a big sigh of relief and wrote the appraiser an $8,500 check.

This is a great opportunity, even for a relative newbie who with a few shade and timber type courses could easily establish themselves in a specialty. Once you have obtained a client or two, the instructor avered, the word gets around and he said you have no idea how many such suits are filed each year, hundreds across the nation.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
David Reinold of Russellville, AR taught the class, and has a school. He will teach it again, probably within 1 year in either Branson, MO or Hot Springs, AR

Ray Camp Inc. (RCI) and is his company. He is appraiser 0002 in Arkansas, served the state board until last month, passed the USPAP instructors test with 100, and is also a registered land surveyor and Registered forester.

Typically he will hire a Residential appraiser to appraise the affected property, and perhaps with 2 or more other appraisers make market survey to determine how much landscaping (Shade and ornamental trees) contribute to a typical improved site. They then measure the trees and calculated replacement costs and cost to cure to estimate damages. Damage to Timber might be a more complex assignment, but the shade tree aspect is pretty straightforward and you don't need an extensive background in forestry or horticulture.

Very interesting class. Write RCI at Box 885, Russellville, AR 72811 and they can put you on the mailing list.

email is [email protected](I think)
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
Wow, thanks for the great info. I'm going to get myself added to the mailing list. This class sounds great.
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
Thanks Terrell. Always looking for something new like that. I will be in contact for sure!
 
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