What Are Your Trees Worth?

Here’s a sample of how trees are valued. This is a simplified version of a professional arborist’s method and is not meant for legal or insurance purposes but it will give you a good idea of what your trees are worth.

In this simplified example we’ll use the Trunk Formula Technique (TFT) from the International Society of Arboriculture Guide for Plant Appraisal. The TFT calculation looks like this:

Reproduction Tree Cost = Largest Available Stock + Installation Costs

Basic Tree Reproduction Cost = (Cross-sectional area of the original tree) x ((Reproduction Tree Cost) / (Reproduction tree cross-sectional area))
where Cross-Sectional Area = Circumference2 x 0.7854

Depreciated Reproduction Cost = (Basic Tree Reproduction Cost) x (Condition) x (Functional limits) x (External limits)


For our example
A professional arborist will create maps, evaluate health, condition and form, and document values for all your trees. The report created can be used for legal and insurance claims. Images courtesy of Madison Tree Consulting LLC, Bend OR.

Reproduction Tree Cost: $380 for coniferous, $480 for deciduous (new 3″ diameter saplings, delivered and installed) PNW-ISA Species Ratings for Landscape Tree Appraisal.

Basic Tree Reproduction Cost: The new trees are 3″ diameter so you can multiply the cross sectional area by $56.76 ($380/7.068) conifer or $67.91 ($480/7.068) deciduous.

Condition you observed (health, structure, and form): 
Excellent: 1.0 – 0.9
Good: 0.9 – 0.75
Fair:  0.5  – 0.75
Poor:  0.30 – 0.50

Functional limits: trees located beneath power lines, near property lines, species that cause excessive litter, or species listed as invasive species. (For this example we are using 0.95)

External limits: City ordinances, easements, utilities, significant pests in the area, or site and climate changes. (For this example we assume your trees are in the Arnold Irrigation right of way and use 0.33)

Additional Costs:  Site clean-up, site changes, irrigation, and future maintenance (for this example we assume these costs are zero because Arnold Irrigation cleans up the mess).


To value your trees

These trees show some damage from deer antlers so the Condition is reduced from 0.75 to 0.60 in the chart below.

Evaluate the tree’s health and structure with binoculars for the crown and take a good close look lower down for dead limbs, bugs (sap dripping) and bark damage.

Measure the circumference of the tree at around chest height (4’6″) . Multiply that number by itself and then multiply that result by 0.7854. This is the cross-sectional area of your tree.

Now multiply that number by 57.76 for conifers (Pine or Juniper) or 67.91 for deciduous. This is what your tree is worth before depreciation, the Basic Tree Reproduction Cost.

The Depreciated Reproduction Cost (value of your tree) is the Basic Tree Reproduction Cost you just calculated multiplied by the observed condition, functional and external limits.


Circumference measured at chest heightCross Section AreaNew Tree FactorConditionFunctional LimitsExternal LimitsTree Value
713959.257.760.750.950.33$5,400
19283.5367.910.60.950.33$3600

Here are the appraisal calculations:

Tree 1 Conifer (Pine)
Cross section area = 712 x 0.7854 = 3959.2
Basic Reproduction Cost = 3959.2 x 57.76 = $22,805
Depreciated Reproduction Cost = $22,805 x 0.75 x 0.95 x 0.33 = $5,410
Additional Costs = 0 (Arnold Irrigation will remove and clean up)
Total Reproduction Cost = $5,410 +0 = $5,410
Appraisal Value = $5,400 (rounded to hundreds)

Tree 2 Deciduous (Aspen)
Cross section area = 192 x 0.7854 = 283.53
Basic Reproduction Cost = 283.53 x 67.91 = $19,254
Depreciated Reproduction Cost = $19,254 x 0.6 x 0.95 x 0.33 = $3,622
Additional Costs = 0 (Arnold Irrigation will remove and clean up)
Total Reproduction Cost = 0 + $3,622 = $3,622
Appraisal Value = $3,600 (rounded to hundreds)
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