How does one determine the insurance value of a mature, 60+ foot oak tree?
I have a call into an arborist, but how do they know? Mine was struck by lightning Saturday morning. Followed the roots, hut the gas line and blew it. Meter arced on the house. Then found electrical and blew it in the yard and house. Tree, along with many other plants, if fried right down the middle. Nothing broke off, so I don't know if it will make it or not.
You can see where it came down through the tree. I presume it was hit somewhere near the top - I can see some charring. You can follow it down the tree by the cooked leaves. I dont know what the roots look like, obviously.
Your tree might survive. I'm not an electrician but I know when electricity passes through something sometimes the thing it passes through survives with very little damage. People get hit with lightning and live frequently. Plus it sounds like your house took the brunt of the electrical shock. It might be worth noting with the insurance company in case it does die later at least they will have it on record.
Trees are worth far more alive than dead; a more realistic valuation is the cost of replacing it with a new mature tree of similar size - which would be well-nigh impossible, and therefore, exceedingly expensive.
Good chance it will survive (it's a Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa, and they're great survivors), but with a dead strip down the side which will eventually allow decay in, and ultimately an earlier demise than an undamaged tree. It might live another 50-100 years, rather than the potential 200-300, but it's impossible to tell for sure.
I will only disagree with Resin on the tree ID - that is dead-on a White Oak (Quercus alba). That species is also a long lived survivor of many things Nature can send its way.
In this kind of situation, the harvest value is not the applicable standard as it might be in a forest or timber production condition. Here, one would look to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) standard Guide for Plant Appraisal. This is the way that trees are valued in home landscapes, or street trees, or other urban or landscape conditions. Value is calculated through an objective formula using the variables of species, size, condition, location, etc. This is how insurance claims are made against vandalism, accidents, storm damage, property takings, and other incidents.
Thanks. I will try the link. I've called 4 people and everyone around here is so bush, they are passing me by. I just thought about calling the UofM as well. It will be easier to dig around once I get full power and internet back...Friday. :/
The strike was in one of three main branches. If that branch comes down, the tree comes down. It is the counter weight and without it, I'm sure it would come down on the house.