The home grown financial valuation method for trees here in NZ is STEM, in the UK Helliwell System is one that has been used for a while. What do you have in USA? I am not sure about tree valuation, I can see why law courts need it but it just seems sooooo complicated and subjective. You could call it a double edged sword and as precise as calculating the meaning of life. Perhaps if I actually understood any of the valuation methods I would be keener. I just can't help but feel there is more important things to concentrate on (unless you guys have a system that is the answer).
Kit, in the US we follow the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers process, described in the CTLA Guide for Plant Appraisal (9th edition is the most current, 10th being written now). There is a strong effort in the UK to promote the use of the CTLA methodologies.
I haven't studied the STEM system enough to know it well. Every valuation system has its limitations. None are appropriate for every situation.
Valuation is very much dependent on subjective analysis by the appraiser. If properly applied, being subjective does not mean it is arbitrary, however. It should be based on sound judgment and professional expertise. Valuation by its very nature is somewhat subjective.
The value of an object is exactly what a decision maker deems it to be. In a litigious situation, the value is what the court decides it to be. In a sales or ownership transfer, the value is the price agreed upon by the buyer and seller. That's the heart of the definition of value. Any value we estimate as appraisers is based on virtual circumstances, not actual ones. That makes it inherently subjective. The important thing is to fully understand the appraisal process, and follow it carefully, whichever methodology you choose to use. It is also important to be familiar with local laws and regulations that affect the value and how it is estimated.
Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
I suppose we need people to be breaking new frontiers and you put it so professionally Russ. I often think of an army acronym KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. NZ is a small industry for amenity trees and I know from this forum that the USA has its backwaters. When we are struggling to get guys on the tools to understand basic concepts, how can we expect complex theories to fit in or be taken seriously. We need some kind of framework I suppose - keep up the good work!
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