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14th May 2022

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Luxury Owners Crown Homes With ‘Trophy Trees’
Luxury Owners Crown Homes With ‘Trophy Trees’ | Realtor Magazine

The “trophy tree” has become a new status symbol for wealthy homeowners, The Wall Street Journal reports. Landscape architects say that a big tree has become analogous to piece of artwork. But because eager new luxury homeowners may not be willing to wait years to grow a lush canopy from a large tree, they are hiring tree brokers to find and relocate attractive trees onto their properties.

Walter Acree, owner of Green Integrity’s, a tree relocation and landscaping firm in Deerfield Beach, Fla., reports business booming since the pandemic for requests for the perfect trophy tree. Acree will drive wealthy clients around South Florida for such a tree. They will scour areas for trees in other people’s yards or businesses and then approach the owners with an offer to buy and move the tree. Acree recently gave to a client an estimate of $250,000 to move a tree.

Other landscape architects are reporting a surge in business. “It’s the busiest the business has ever been, and we’re doing things at a scale that is just remarkable,” Tim Johnson, a partner at Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design in Miami, told The Wall Street Journal. Bidding wars over trees can ignite, such as one Johnson faced over 45-foot canopied oak trees.

Buying and relocating a tree can range in price from tens of thousands of dollars to six figures, depending on the look of the tree and how accessible it is, landscape architects say. Landscape architects say great caution is used to move these older, stately trees to ensure no harm is done.

Michael Chen, a Los Angeles real estate developer, told The Wall Street Journal it took him a year and a half to find a tree for his $65 million spec house in Beverly Hills. It’s a large 150-year-old, 15-foot olive tree that was imported from Tuscany. He didn’t plant it outside, though, but in the middle of the home in an encased glass courtyard.

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