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<Matthew Rivers>
posted
I'm working on the appraisal of several small Juglans nigra which were planted as street trees and have been severely damaged by the pruning (cough...gag...) practices of the adjacent property owner. The problem I face is that the availability of JUNI in this area is little to none due to the presence of blackline disease and the resulting permanent quarentine against the export of said species from the state.
How should I determine the value of replacement trees? Should I check prices of JUNI in CA (or MN or OH) and then factor in shipping for 3 trees? How do I determine the basal area of a whip, knowing that the likelihood of finding JUNI at 4" cal. is slim to none?
 
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<James Causton>
posted
Reply to post by Matthew Rivers, on January 15, 2002 at 11:36:59:

Have you considered using a form of replacement cost/ compounded cost approach. It might solve part of you problem.

James Causton.
 
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<Scott Cullen>
posted
Reply to post by Matthew Rivers, on January 15, 2002 at 11:36:59:

I think the key issue is how important it is to replace species in kind. If there was a management reason to plant J.n. and they were doing well then an extraordinary cost to obtain and ship replacements may be in order. If replacing with another species in this block would upset an appearance or species distribution plan, ditto. If on the other hand, these trees are not highly "valued" because of the disease you cite, or any other reason maybe you'd depreciate away any cost premium anyway. You could use an available species price.

You could use the cost of field gathering and transplanting J.n. of an appropriate size... though you might not be able to actually plant them.

You could calculate the cost of putting whips in the city nursery for the number of years it takes to reach proper size, caring for them all along, the transplanting them to the site, plus the cost of temporary trees in the location, and moving them somewhere when the J.n.'s are ready.

James suggestion about compounding might be useful here. But compounding replacement cost is, IMO, not a very sound technique (see the archives). It might have some merit here as applied to city's actual opportunity cost... if the trees are small you can probably get original cost records. What did they cost plus installation, care, admin. overhead. What would city have earned over period since planting if the money was invested at compound interest. Total orig principal plus the interest. Add the removal costs. Note that compounding is a mathematical operation. As an appraisal exercise, compounding original cost and compounding replacment cost are NOT identical methods.

All of this assumes the damage is incurable and the trees are a total loss. If the trees are small, maybe the damage is curable and a cost of repair appraisal is more appropriate, especially if the J.n's are not available. Develop expenses for a resorative pruning program over the number of years you think it will take.

You can also compare various methods. Of course your investment of time has to make sense too. It does not make sense to spend $4000 in appraisal time for 3 $400 trees!
 
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<Matthew Rivers>
posted
Reply to post by Scott Cullen, on January 15, 2002 at 11:36:59:

Thanks guys!
Good ideas...after discussion w/ my supervisor, I'll use the price of an available spp. of similar habit and local spp. rating.

The price of remediation might work, unfortunately I'm working within the dictates of City Code and so, do not have that option available.
 
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