Tree Appraisals: The Value of a Tree

Man talking to reporters with large camera

At Cumberland Valley Tree Service – Landscaping, our Arborists are often called out to people’s homes or other properties to perform Tree Appraisals to determine the value of a tree.

While it is easy for people to appreciate the aesthetic and ecological value of a tree, it can be more difficult to perform tree appraisals to assess its financial value. The right tree in the right location can significantly add to the overall value of a property, but when it is damaged, the property owner may have to deal with the repair or replacement costs.

Jamey Schwartz is CVTS-L’s Plant Health Care Manager, and he is an ISA-Certified Arborist, a Pennsylvania-Certified Horticulturalist, a Maryland Licensed Tree Expert, and he holds a Pennsylvania Spray License. He has been with CVTS-L for about 20 years, and he has spent much of that time in, around and studying trees.

He explained that the most common situation that requires a Tree Appraisal is when a driver runs off the road and strikes a tree causing damage to the property.

“That’s when we would come in and appraise the tree for its value so that the homeowner can be compensated either for the damage that was sustained to the tree or, if the tree is a total loss, then the actual appraised value of the tree,” Schwartz explained.

He added: “It’s basically the same as if somebody drove off the road and hit your house and knocked a hole in the wall. You’re going to want the damage repaired.”

While automobile accidents are the most common reason for Schwartz to perform an appraisal, he said that he is also called out to assess storm damage. When a valuable tree is struck by lightning or damaged by wind, the homeowner might seek insurance compensation, which requires a formal appraisal of the tree.


To determine the value of a tree, Schwartz considers many factors, starting with the Species of the tree being appraised.

“Some trees, just based on the species, are more valuable than others,” he said. “Oaks tend to be more valuable than Cherry trees. So that’s certainly one aspect.”


Another factor to consider is the Location of the tree on the property. He used shade trees as an example:

“A large shade-tree on the southside of the house where it’s shading the house in the afternoon from the hot baking sun, that tree is more valuable on the southside of the house than it would be on the northside of the house because of the benefit to the structure. Location is definitely one key factor.”


The Condition of the tree at the time of the incident also needs to be considered.

“Was the tree healthy and a viable tree before the incident or was it already in decline – did it have a little die-back? That affects the value of the tree.”

A tree appraisal also needs to be in line with the overall value of the property and the surrounding properties in the community. Typically, the tree and landscape value makes up about 5-10% of the total property value.

Invest in your property by calling our ISA-Certified Arborists to professionally assess, diagnose and maintain your trees from sapling through maturity.

Here is a video from November 2016 where Jamey Schwartz is a consulting expert for an ABC 27 news segment in which he discusses the Emerald Ash Borer.