Tree Foundation of Kern


To assign a monetary value to trees. 

When the Tree Foundation of Kern wanted to heighten public awareness for the urban forest, it publicized the findings of an inventory of 611 trees in downtown Bakersfield estimated to be in excess of one million dollars. That appraisal alone opened many doors to elected officials, business owners, and donors.

Tree appraisals are valuable tools in developing and justifying urban forestry budgets. Because trees are living organisms that continually grow and mature, species, size, age and condition are the basis of financial appraisals.

Tree appraisals can be helpful in cases of vandalism or natural catastrophe, and can be submitted to insurance carriers for payment.

It is common knowledge in the real estate industry that properties with mature landscapes will sell faster and fetch up to 20% more money than those with no trees.

Steve Runyan appraises agricultural real estate, including fruit and nut orchards. He estimates the value of agricultural land for loan applications, estate tax assessments, sales, and bankruptcies. "I provide accurate estimates of value so the user of the appraisal can make a sound business decision."

Strong math skills, attention to details and an agricultural background are desirable components of a good appraiser. Steve has a four year degree from California Polytechnical Institute at San Luis Obispo and 255 hours of specialized education, is certified by the State of California, and belongs to the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

An appraiser has a combination of inside and outside work with lots of independence and very little security. Steve enjoys the independence and expects a stable demand for appraisers in the future, with additional training requirements.

Salaries currently range from $30,000 to start and up to $100,000 annually at maturity.