A car struck and destroyed my tree. How can a damage estimate be obtained?

As with most material goods, trees and landscape plants have a fiscal value. A plant appraisal can be performed by a qualified professional with extensive knowledge of plants as well as good common sense. The simplest appraisal would be a replacement cost value. This would entail the cost of removal of the damaged tree plus the cost of a replacement tree. This is usually limited to around a 4 inch caliper tree. It is highly impractical to replace large diameter trees due to the large size and weight of these trees.

The second appraisal method would be the ISA trunk formula method. This method relies heavily with the appraiser’s expertise and integrity. Large caliper trees can be appraised using this court approved method. Another appraisal can be the difference in real estate values due to the loss of a tree, or landscaping. A real estate appraiser would have to be brought in as part of the appraisal team.

Finally a cost of cure method would appraise the damage by determining how much it would cost to restore the damage to an acceptable appearance. As you can see, appraisal can be a complicated process, often with more than one appraiser to reach a fair settlement.