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Dying Trees Chop Down Home Values

Nothing adds more to a new home than a stand of stately trees. They provide shade, energy savings, beauty and ambience. A diseased or dying tree, on the other hand, is a drain on property values and a potential safety hazard. Home buyers should take a close look at any trees on the lot before they buy, according to M. Fahey for The Journal Newspapers.

Trees that look healthy and alive are sometimes not what they seem. It takes the trained eye of an arborist to spot the telltale signs of disease or structural infirmity. Among other things, arborists look for hollow spots, signs of disease, insects, and proximity to utility lines. It's well worth the $150-$200 average cost of a professional tree inspection, considering that removing just one tree can cost thousands of dollars. Your first priority is safety, before high winds or heavy ice bring a branch or entire tree down on you or your property. An arborist also can provide lightning protection to a tree, an especially good idea for the ones in close proximity to your home.

Much of the damage is done during new construction or adding on to an existing home. Builders must take care to save the roots. Roots must be pruned and an area fenced off extending twice as far as the tree's branches to prevent damage. Hidden damage to the roots can take two years to become visible. Before buying a new home, ask the builder if proper precautions were taken to preserve the existing trees.

Ideally, you'll find a progressive builder willing to survey the site with an arborist, and prepare a plan to preserve trees and open space. Working together, they identify the prime trees worth saving and design a construction plan to save them. It's possible to achieve a high success rate.

Tree Info:
National Arborist Association (603) 673-3311
American Society of Conservation Arborists (217) 355-9411
Care of Trees (703) 471-1427