Your Trees Are Worth Money

How exactly does it work?
Many people enjoy the aesthetics of trees and most can name a couple of their benefits, but there aren’t many, outside of arboriculture, who know that trees have an actual monetary value. I’m not talking about the money you could get a lumber yard; Your trees have actual value while living and growing in your yard and on your property. 
This value is determined by a number of factors like size, age, species, & location on the property and is derived from the services they provide to the surrounding area. These services include;
• Reducing air pollution 
• Removing carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming
• Manufacturing oxygen
• Reducing the risk and effects of flood 
• Helping cool nearby houses
• Acting as sound barriers from roadways and other noise pollution 
These services, among other factors and variable, are used by certified Arborists to determine the monetary value of your trees. That value is useful for many different reasons. It increases the value of the property if you were ever to sell or need borrow money against your property. If the tree were to ever fail, you can use that professional valuation to make a claim on your homeowners insurance. There’s even an IRS tax code that allows you claim the value of the failed tree as a “loss” which essentially means it reduces the amount of your taxable income. Yes, you understood that last part correctly; if you have a tree on your property fail, not only can you write-off any property damage caused and the money you had to spend on having it cleaned up, but you can also use the professional valuation of the tree to reduce your taxable income. 
This valuation has to be done by a credentialed professional such as an ISA Certified Arborist and before the tree and debris are removed from your property (in the case of a failure). It’s best to have a professional come out and evaluate your trees while their still standing, so call Green Topps today to schedule a visit from one of our Arborists.
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How to get the highest valuation for your trees…
There are many “tree service companies” who will come out a cut your trees and even remove them completely. Professionals, however, will work with you to plan, develop, install, and care for your trees and plants so that each of them are worth more. This is done by insuring that the species fit within the plan for the property and work well with the other plants  in the area, as well as keeping them properly maintained.
Too often, we see “tree service companies” practicing improper pruning methods, such as removing up to 50% of the tree in one visit or simply making improper pruning cuts. This type of maintenance can put too much stress on the and make it more susceptible to disease, insect infestations, bacteria, fungus, and other threats which can lead to a decline in the tree or even failure. When it’s time to have your trees pruned, our Arborists will work with you to develop a plan based on a balanced mixture of what you’d like to have done and what’s good for the tree. For example, we often have homeowners request to remove all of the limbs of a nearby live oak that are growing towards their house, which would result in removing more than the recommended maximum of 25% (per any 12 month period). Instead, we suggest selectively pruning the branches that are growing down towards their home and redirecting the growth up and away from it. This, along with other proper pruning methods, helps increase the structural integrity of the tree, reduces the risks posed by the tree, and helps maintain the benefits of it. 
Let’s recap.
Proper planning, installation, and maintenance all increase the value of your trees and property. Even though it can sound more complicated and complex, it’s actually more affordable over both the short term and long term. This is due to many factors. 
Proper planning insures that all of the plants can thrive at their location on the property and aren’t fighting for nutrients, space, and resources. Improper planning can result in removal just a few years or even months after installation. 
Installation seems pretty straightforward, but all too often we are called to inspect a homeowner’s tree only to find that reason for it’s decline or failure was directly due to improper planting by a landscaping company. The most common issues resulting from improper installation are related to the the trunk and roots, which are the foundation for any tree. 
As we’ve already covered somewhat, proper maintenance can mean practicing proper pruning methods which promotes structural integrity among other things, but proper maintenance can also include regular fertilization treatments, cabling/bracing, and lightning protection installation. There are a lot of companies out there that will use scare tactics to convince unknowing homeowners to remove a safe and healthy tree. There’s even more who will prune as much as requested or will make improper pruning cuts by either cutting too far out on the branch (“stubbing”, “stub cut”, “topping”) or cutting the branch back too far and cutting into the “branch collar”, which is the part of the tree that grows over the cut limb to cover the wound and protect the tree from threats. Both of these practices can weaken the tree and cause decline to the point of failure. Thankfully, you won’t run into too many issues with fertilization, cabling/bracing, or lightning protection installation, and that’s likely because they’re relatively cheap for the homeowner (so the companies can’t make much money on them) and the average tree service company simply doesn’t want to invest the time and money into obtaining the amount of education and training required to competently execute these practices. 
Here at Green Topps, we take our time in every stage of the process to ensure that you, as our client, receive the highest level of service. We like to build relationships with our customers by providing useful and practical information as well as top tier service so that you can trust us for all of your property maintenance needs. Give us a call today to schedule an on-site consultation with one of our professional arborists. 

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