Tree-trimming impact on local government property management
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to consider the monetary valuation implications arising from local government tree trimming, by calculating the loss of local government authority’ monetary tree value arising from trimming trees under power lines. Design/methodology/approach: A city council model of estimation of the monetary value of city trees in a sample of three streets in a suburb of the Perth Metropolitan Area in Western Australia is applied to ascertain the loss of monetary value to the local government authority arising from tree trimming. Findings: Using a sample of 274 city trees, the results of the study show that 156 city trees did not get trimmed thus incurring no monetary loss. However, the average loss of monetary value from 118 city trees that were trimmed was AU$2,816 per tree, suggesting a substantial loss of value to the council. Research limitations/implications: The use of monetary tree valuation should be treated with caution as there is a focus on monetary calculations rather than non-monetary evaluations of trees. Further, the analysis does not take into account increases in value of city trees resulting from their growth. Practical implications: In trimming trees, monetary value and canopy cover of trees may be reduced. In terms of property management, it may be helpful for the city council to take into account loss of city tree value from tree trimming when considering a cost-benefit analysis of the above ground/underground trade-off of power line installation. Social implications: With increasing populations and demand on services, local government authorities may use monetary valuation techniques of trees to provide an accountability to ratepayers. Originality/value: The results highlight the value loss of trimming a tree. The study’s originality rests in providing local government authority a valuation.
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