Over the past 40 years, I’ve been privileged to be a part of many facets of the landscaping, nursery, and tree care industry. An Honorary Life member of The American Society of Consulting Arborists, I’ve also been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of The International Society of Arboriculture.
An extensive background in landscape design, nursery, contracting, and tree care has given me valuable experience that supports my consulting and expert witness practice today. It’s also given me the opportunity to contribute to a wide range of publications, write a book on tree law, and serve as a featured speaker for many organizations.
Although I’m consulted on a wide variety of issues, assignments generally fall into two categories – advising property owners and forensics, serving as an expert witness to help settle legal disputes.
Services for property owners
In some cases, residential tree and landscape consulting assignments are based on solving existing issues – but in many cases, clients are far more proactive – asking for advice to better maintain their trees to prevent potential problems. Some of these issues include:
Conks —mushroom-like growths on the tree trunk or roots
Splits, cracks, or seams on the main tree trunk
Multi-stem tree trunks
Weak or poor crotches
Strangulating or girdling roots
Trees planted too deeply.
Too much mulch and/or soil on the lower tree trunk.
Although a common request takes the form of “make sure my trees are healthy so that they won’t fall over,” healthy trees can always fail. In some cases that’s because trees get too dense and heavy in the canopy. No tree can be made “safe,” but they often can be made “safer.”
Another type of request comes from concerns over a neighbor’s tree. In some cases I can visually inspect those trees from a client’s property, but I can’t make a close inspecting of a neighbor’s tree without that property owner’s permission.
I have served as a testifying expert and/or a consulting expert in 15 states — and have worked for both plaintiffs and defendants. I also work on assignments that involve insurance subrogation claims.
It has been my philosophy that my professional opinions in legal matters — whether the case involves monetary damages, negligence, or neighbor disputes — would be the same regardless of which side retained me.