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12/29/2014· Plants & Trees

Organic Fertilizers: Of Trends, Science and Chickens

By: Joe Samnik

Trends are fascinating and exhilarating phenomena. They allow pundits the opportunity to pontificate upon things which may never happen but are nonetheless given great credence due to the expertise of the pontificator. Trends tend to focus on the minutia of a far greater whole, and more likely than not are short-lived. Trends are fun to watch and a delight to participate in. Trends define goals and give us hope to better ourselves and our communities. We want to become a trendsetter due to its elitism and social stature. We want to follow trendsetters because there's safety in numbers. But lurking in the hallowed halls of this intermittent euphoria lays danger. Nothing can disappear quicker than Elvis Presley sideburns then to follow a trend and ignore the science behind it.

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5/29/2014· Plants & Trees

Preservation of the Baranoff Oak Tree

By: Joe Samnik

About one century before Davy Crockett entered the Alamo another fight for life was taking place in Safety Harbor, Florida. Amid a forest of oaks and vegetation a single acorn miraculously sent out a fibrous root which drove into the ground and somehow became established. Against all odds this root developed into a small tree and 300 years later it became the fabled Baranoff Oak. For over 300 years it has withstood the vicissitudes and inclemencies of weather. Hurricanes, lightning, and fires could not and did not kill this magnificent specimen. Now it is fighting for its life - and losing.

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9/9/2014· Plants & Trees

Appraising Trees and Plants: A Matter of Emphasis

By: Joe Samnik

A couple of decades ago I hung a picture on my office wall. I hung it there at the beginning of my career in appraising trees and plants. The caption under the picture reads, "Do you want your assessment to show how much your tree is worth, or how little it is worth - it's a matter of emphasis". Setting aside the naïveté of the statement, the question remains the matter of emphasis in the approach used to valuation - and the ethical repercussions which ensue.

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2/6/2014· Expert Witnessing

Go Forth and Testify

By: Joe Samnik

At first blush you may think that this article is about a small, albeit ugly armored animal and you would be justified in doing so. After all, the name Armadillo Partners conjures up a mental image of a corporate holding of armadillos, presumably for sale. Such would not be the case however. In fact, this article is about an arbor area and trees located at a shopping center called Armadillo Square in Broward County, Florida.

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6/30/2014· Plants & Trees

Back to the Future - The Future of Landscape Appraisals

By: Joe Samnik

The new 10th Edition, Guide for Plant Appraisals, is currently in the review and comment phase. This long awaited publication (if not Holy Grail) could be available in 2013. Having reviewed the publication I can, at this time, state with some certainty that future depositions will become much shorter and the ranks of the new unqualified landscape appraisers will be filled in large part from the current ranks of the qualified. As a book review goes, I shall go no further until such time that the 10th Edition is playing in a theater near you.

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4/22/2014· Appraisal & Valuation

Tree Risk Assessment: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

By: Joe Samnik

The title is certainly an old play on words and, perhaps correctly, states the fact that no matter how radical a change the underlying components remain the same, as do the consequences. Such is true in many industries and ours is no different. Take the ANSI A300, (Part 9), and the companion publication, Best Management Practices (BMP) Series Tree Risk Assessment, regarding the assessment of tree risks.

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3/11/2014· Plants & Trees

Doctor, Doctor, Can You Save My...Tree? 45 Years of the Most Asked Questions

By: Joe Samnik

When your area of expertise includes tree preservation, and you have been doing just that for 45 years, a pattern of anticipation emerges from the owner of the tree as it relates to certain inquiries regarding the process and expectations. Wither my client is commercial or residential there are shared common denominators associated with each person. Here is my summation of the most frequently asked questions and my response:

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2/4/2015· Plants & Trees

Fertilizer Analysis - There's A New Sheriff In Town

By: Joe Samnik

Among the new publications of note to arborists is ANSI A300 (part 2) - 2011(Soil Management- a. Modification, b. Fertilization, and c. Drainage). If you fertilize trees, or write specificity regarding the fertilization of trees, this is a new publication you must have in your library. You may obtain a copy of this publication from the Florida Chapter, ISA office.

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10/14/2014· Plants & Trees

Trees & Plants: Caveat Emptor

By: Joe Samnik

Have you ever heard the name Donna Massie? How about Tom McCrum? The former holds the dubious distinction of having identified the very first Asian long-horned beetle (ALB) in Worchester, Mass. Already 1,800 trees have been tagged for removal on 62 square miles surrounding Worcester and four neighboring towns. Tom McCrum is with the Massachusetts Maple Syrup Association and joins economists and politicians in the nightmare scenario that would follow into the tourism and timber industry if the ALB encroached further from its current foothold. Approximately $268 million has been spent on eradication efforts during the last eleven years.

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11/24/2014· Plants & Trees

Eminent Domain: The Great Pancake House Summit Meeting

By: Joe Samnik

Oh lo, how many years have passed since one of the country's leading property rights attorneys asked me to meet with him and his assistant to go over my deposition prior to giving it. He was the lead property rights attorney for Florida's oldest law firm. He was located over 400 miles away, and wanted me to meet him at a pancake house at 5:00 AM. My deposition was at 9:00 AM the same day. The matter evolved around the governments taking of private property for public use - eminent domain - which may be found under Article 5 of the Bill of Rights. The issue of eminent domain is, and was, so crucially important to our founding fathers that the same number of jurors required for capital murder is also required for eminent domain trials. When you work in the field of eminent domain you are working in the literal heartbeat of our constitution.

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