WEST Swan resident Nevan Pavlinovich has proof that money does grow on trees.
Mr Pavlinovich planted around 60 trees along his boundary fence more than 20 years ago to mark the day he married his wife.
More than two decades later just over 30 of the eucalypts, blue gums and sugar gums that he planted have been valued at $540,000.
He said he decided to hire an aborist, who valued the amenity of the trees to the area.
The trees were valued using the Helliwell system, which looks at size, duration, importance, tree cover, suitability of setting and form.
Mr Pavlinovich said his trees added “so much value” to his property – as well as sentimental value.
“Trees are so important in so many ways and it makes sense to have them valued,” he said.
“You can see the difference trees make – when you look at the richer suburbs they all have big, mature trees and the suburbs of lower property value don’t.
“I think it’s a lesson for property developers to try and retain trees, not just for the environment and health benefits, but also to add value to properties.”
Mr Pavlinovich said he knew his trees were going to be worth a bit of money, but was shocked by how much.
“I thought they would be worth half of that, so to have that figure come up was quite surprising. We also had a big Jacaranda on the property valued, which was valued at $60,000,” he said.
Arboriculture consultant Mark Short from Corymbia Consulting, who valued the trees on the property, said trees were beginning to be more widely accepted as assets by their owners and the general community.
“Placing value on trees is becoming increasingly common. Trees are the only assets that have the potential to appreciate over time and provide great amenity value, by way of aesthetics, shade, screen, noise reduction and habitat value,” he said.
“Once a tree is lost its value will never be fully regained through planting new trees, therefore the protections of trees holds value in itself.”
Mr Short said the value of trees could be used in legal cases or development to try and save old trees and their importance to be retained in a community.
“Many local governments are now looking at how they can increase their tree canopy coverage in urban areas to help reduce daytime temperatures in summer,” he said.
“It’s considerably more worthwhile for a number of reasons to keep a tree and in development work around it, rather than cutting it down.”