Sea Green Juniper values

Laddie0813July 31, 2013

Part of my front property is being taken by the county eminent domain and rented for their construction staging. They are taking with the intent of returning the property back to us in the same condition. They are paying us rent and replacement value for shrubs and trees taken. We have a double lot and this is impacting the full length. They are taking out in front of the house a rock retailing wall, 30+ year old lilac hedge, flowering crab tree, full size bridal veil bush and most importantly (10+) 20 year old "Sea Green" Juniper bushes. They have offered us a 2 for 1 Juniper plant exchange at $35.00 a plant. #1 You can not plant Sea Green's closer than 6'. At maturity they are 5-6' tall and 6-7' wide. Ours are 6' tall and a minimum of 7' wide at 360 degrees. They are huge! They are planted on top of the retaining wall and hide a very busy county road. Is there not a way that mature Junipers are valued at a fair monetary value? Other than at a 3 Gal. replacement Nursery plant? We are in our 60's and they were the first plantings we did 20 years ago. We will end up with a few new small Junipers in a barren area between them with the street exposed. I must assume the counties reasoning is a 100 year old elm can be valued and replaced by any tree or maybe 2? Whether they can both grow there or not. Also we have planted our property environmentally, specifically for all wildlife. What is the value of these Juniper's to the wildlife's, bird's shelter and food. The county says they have to keep it replacement only, but I just don't see it. Can anyone help me with this and what mature Sea Green Junipers values are? Thank you for all information you can provide to me. Time is of the essence. Thank you.

This post was edited by Laddie0813 on Thu, Aug 1, 13 at 1:17

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Unfortunately, age and size do not necessarily mean increased value. There is a limit to the size commercial growers will allow many plants to grow before marketing them because a) there is no real market for many "jumbo" or fully mature plants, b) they (the growers) must absorb all the cost of growing, holding and maintaining the plant for many years, which they are disinclined to do. Moving inventory rapidly is how they make money. And c) large mature plants are much harder to transport, plant and establish than smaller, younger specimens, increasing both the expense and risk.

The exceptions to this are some larger, mature trees which may have a lumber value attached to them or something rather unique like certain specific cultivars of mature Japanese maple.

Even for insurance purposes, the valuation is typically determined by the cost of a new plant at the closest comparable size. Generally with shrubs that's not going to be much larger than a 3, 5 or 7G container.

If you want to space the junipers closer you certainly can. Many times landscape designers and contractors will tighten up the spacing on shrubs and perennials to provide a more established, "full" look to a new landscape. And since it takes a while for these plants to achieve their full size, you have some time before you may need to remove every other one or so (and since every other one was really free, no biggie!!)

The alternative is to replace the junipers with some other, faster growing shrub.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:02PM
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gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

I paid $188+tax+delivery for Juniperus Chinensis about that size few months ago in 24" box. I was told they were about 10-12 years old. I paid $65 for smaller, #15 plants.

These prices were much lower than the local nursery wanted for the same.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 8:44PM
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