Arborist Discusses Value of Trees Removed by Property Owner’s Neighbor

    This case involves an individual who held a residential property in a private subdivision. A natural barrier existed between his property and that of a neighbor, which consisted of a large stand of trees, primarily pine as well as a few hardwoods. The neighbor, without consulting the property owner, proceeded to cut down all of the trees in order to obtain a better view of a lake. In total, the neighbor cut down over 150 trees, all of which were on the plaintiff’s property. The plaintiff was forced to replace the trees at his own expense, and the natural barrier will not provide the same amount of privacy as it originally did for at least 10 years.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please briefly describe your experience determining replacement values for pine and hardwood trees of this sort.

    Expert Witness Response E-086909

    In cases such as the one described above, I determine replacement values using the methods set forth in the most current edition of the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA) Guide for Plant appraisal, along with my experience. The value would be based on the cost to purchase from the nearest supplier, transport, install, and maintain trees that would be suitable as replacements for those that were removed. I worked on developing a value for trees that were going to be cut down for an eminent domain (road widening) project at a home site on the National Register of Historic Places, and have extensive experience providing arboreal appraisal services generally.

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