Two shapely and proud Small-leaved Limes, ( Tilia cordata ), stand in the middle of a small field at Duncannon, Stoke Gabriel, Devon. Overlooking the Dart Estuary, these trees formed part of a Devon hedge which was removed many years ago, leaving the trees and a remnant stretch of the ancient hedge standing alone in the field.
For my Tree Year project I am hoping to detail a valuation of the chosen trees as per the eight valuations cited in the abridged text below taken from a blog I wrote for CSL a few years back –
The Ecological Value: A single tree is a habitat in itself, the huge range of both flora and fauna which can benefit from a single trees presence can often play a huge role in the surrounding habitat. Beneficial animals (the birds and the bees) utilising the tree as a habitat will help to control pests in productive gardens and beneficial fungi in the tree root system (mychorrizal) helps in the remediation of the surrounding soils considerably.
The Landscape Value: (it is worth seeing D R Helliwells valuation method and subsequent valuation methods, such as CAVAT). Obviously there are many trees in the landscape that will actually increase the land and property value of any given area. The thought process by Landscape Architects and Garden Designers, (as well as the amateur gardener), in determining the placement of a tree immediately creates a real financial worth. This value is increased year on year as the tree matures and gives benefit to more and more people.
The Nursery Value: A simple value and often used as a quick tool for valuing a tree for insurance purposes. If the tree was removed how much would it cost to replace the tree as it was. Imagine such costs if the tree was a 150 year old Oak, (hiring in the kind of machinery required alone would amount to 5 figures).
The Holistic value: Trees are more and more being seen as a method of determining an event, and unfortunately often a bereavement. As these trees mature how can you place a value on this and if you were to do so, imagine just how much this is could amount to. The cost of entry into a park or landscape containing trees of note, the tree that has been photographed, painted or even written about will have a huge holistic value, as well as that personal landmark – the tree the children recognise as a means of determining how close to home they are after a long car journey. We all have our favourite places – the trees in those places hold tremendous value to us and as such each of us can place a huge value to a particular tree, which cannot be quantified by anyone else – but must be taken into account.
The Timber Value: As a growing specimen, year on year, many trees accrue a small but significant value in terms of their timber. Cherry wood, walnut wood etc., all have huge value to particular markets well beyond those valuations given by way of Forest Mensuration practice.
The Production value: A garden with a large, productive orchard or even single fruit tree, which can produce year on year will have a quantifiable financial value based on the supply of fruit. Apple production is one of the fastest growing sectors of land industry and as such years ago when they fell in popularity and hectares upon hectares of trees were removed, little thought was given to how much ‘food’ was removed from the system. I know of a few successful enterprises for the ‘foliage’ for floristry and feed market, for such a tree it is easy to quantify how much each tree earns annually and as subsequently place a financial value on it.
The Sustainable Value: Coppicing and Pollarding allows for one of the most sustainable methods of producing an energy crop that exists. This fits in with required tree management, as such this value sees little offsetting costs. It is entirely feasible with some of the modern technology in woodburning for home energy requirements to satisfy all your energy needs from your land. A 200 square metre of Ash, Willow and Hazel coppice is more than adequate for the larger than average family house. Each coppice stool will soon develop an individual value that is quite significant.
Starting with the basic geographical / geological information and leading through a Visual Analysis, I hope to illustrate the complexities of valuing a tree, but more importantly displaying the actual worth of these living monuments in real terms. By way of a comparison, I will soon add another tree and location in an urban setting, for which the valuation will be very different. As urban trees are often subject to financial valuation, which I have had to do myself frequently, it will be intriguing to discover the differences between Rural and Urban trees and whether the final values are comparable.
This google earth image centres on the canopy of the trees –