London, Apr 22 : A plane in the heart of Mayfair has been valued at 750,000 pounds, making it Britain's most valuable tree.
The tree that dates back to the Victorian era and is 6ft-wide tree is based on a new system devised by local authority tree officers.
The system assesses a tree's worth by its size, health, historical significance and how many people live nearby to enjoy it.
This valuation system, known as the capital asset value for amenity trees (Cavat), is to be adopted by every local authority in the country to prevent the massacre of trees blamed for subsidence in buildings.
In future, the high value of trees will demand extra engineering work by insurers to prove a link between a tree and subsidence. Other common causes for subsidence are broken drains and dry weather.
There are many valuable oaks scattered throughout Central London. An oak in Southgate, North London, has been valued at 267,000 plane and a plane in Epping High Street 200,000 pounds. Most street trees are worth between 8,000 pounds and 12,000 pounds.
Andy Tipping, chairman of the London Tree Officers' Association, believes that the new formula will help householders and insurance companies and save trees for neighbourhoods.
"Often an insurer will point the finger at the tree, it is chopped down and then subsidence problems in a house persist," he said. "Companies pay out vast sums repairing buildings and then some months later new cracks appear. Under the new scheme there will be more on-site investigations to find the source of damage at the beginning of a claim," Times Online quoted Tipping, as saying.