Dan, I hope I am not being presumptious here. But it sounds as if your experience in appraisal/consulting is lacking in actual experience. What do you mean by: "...extra bells and whistles?".
Clearly, the assignment you have been asked is strictly a damage assessment from alteration to tree physiological health and potential failure as a result of this person's actions.
Because this is a matter involving police action - have you considered finding a qualified consulting arborist with experience in your area to *refer this too. I am certain that you could gain experiental knowledge by associating yourself with one who has this experience already. This could be a rich and rewarding experience for you, plus it will cover you from potential suits if your information is incorrect.
*I am certain that if you were to ask a consultant to work with you on this project to provide you with further educational experiences they would agree.
If none are available, make certain that you only give your opinion upon root damage and it's impact to tree health. NOTE: you are there as an expert to advise upon only of tree health, damage and expected loss resulting from, not to ascertain damage of other offending person's activities.
Where are you located? Maybe one of the consultants here can help?
I do not have experience in consulting. I have been doing my best following standards all on my own up here. I have no mentors to learn from - none. Most of the guys around here don't even wear helments for crying out loud. Guys continually cut through their hinges, don't know how to bore cut and 'shock load' is something to do with hunting. I have been laughed at for wearing kevlar chaps, kevlar boots, kevlar gloves, eye, ear and head protection - they actually criticized me. I was taught to spur up every tree and don't tie in until you reach the top - with ropes used for rigging, towing and whatever! I used the same 'climbing'line for years until it just snapped when I was burning down a 75' Ash as fast as I could. I have been climbing for 24 years and I didn't even know there were standards until I found trade magazines 6 years ago. I started my own business that same year!!! Now, I have been a member of TCIA and the NY Chapter and I recently received my certification - of which I am very proud of regardless of my experience.
Hardly anyone up here cares about doing things right. Most companies are money driven management and not tree care management. I have seen their work thousands of times. I am a small company and trying to stay small so my attention to detail remains intact. I do not want to have to knock out 2 jobs a day to break even. I still make mistakes and I still do a few things wrong but I am always trying to improve.
Sorry about the tangent, but I read a lot of the topics in the different boards here and the level of care I see you all provide (and the level I am trying to obtain) just doesn't exist around here.
So, I will try to find someone but will not be surprised if I can't. I will only describe what I see at the 'scene' and will only make recommendations for the health and well being of the trees. I don't see how anyone can fault me for doing my best to care for the trees. By 'bells and whistles' - I don't know what I mean, nothing comes to mind so I must have just said it.
Thanks for your input and all the time you guys spend keeping tabs on these boards. I am ashamed for our industry up here and have been for 6 years - I get more embarrassed the more I learn. There are a few guys who try - I have seen them too but it is not the majority that it should be.
Dan from upstate New York - the real upstate, not Albany.
Dan, your last post has said a lot about your ability to become a consultant (to which if you could get some mentoring, I think you would make a good one). Maybe Scott or Russ have some ideas of people near you. Have you thought of taking courses from ASCA?
Also I might suggest if you have not already done so to visit your local or nearest library and pick up books on consulting ethics, urban forestry issues, development and trees, root conflicts,etc.
"bells and whistles' alarmed me that you may be jeopardizing your paid expert witness relationship by involving yourself with human emotion around the intrincasies of non related testimony to tree damage.
Now back to the matter at hand to which you specifically stated: document statistics,
Dan I apologize I have had something come up will finish this tomorrow.
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