Clarification on The Guide

Thank you to TCI Magazine and Lindsey Purcell for a fine article, “Consulting: An Introduction to Plant Appraisal,” in the November 2020 issue about the 10th edition of The Guide for Plant Appraisal. It is well written and does a fine job with explanations regarding The Guide. As many know, there has been some controversy regarding this book, but this letter is not about that situation.

However, there is a statement in the article that I, as well as many others, have had problems with, and it has been stated by others in describing the publication of The Guide. I am referring to the statement that Mr. Purcell made in the article that “The Guide is endorsed by all the major arboriculture, horticulture and real-estate-industry organizations describing the various appraisal processes, and is a critical resource for sound plant valuation.”

I am not aware of any acceptance or endorsements by horticulture or real-estate groups, but I did serve on the TCIA Appraisal Committee and the ISA Appraisal Committee and know for a fact that neither committee endorsed the manuscripts submitted by CTLA (the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, which authored The Guide) for approval. There was a manuscript in 2012 and another in 2017, and both committees agreed there were too many flaws, mistakes and unproven new procedures in the manuscripts. The manuscripts were not approved, and the consensus was that they needed to be rewritten rather than edited. There was some minor editing done before printing, and the book needed a second printing to correct some lingering flaws.

It is my unofficial understanding that the ASCA (American Society of Consulting Arborists) Appraisal Committee did not provide a formal endorsement of the manuscript, either.

Again, kudos for the magazine and to Mr. Purcell for the article, but I hope you will print this letter for clarification of the endorsements.

Lew Bloch, ASCA honorary life member
president, Bloch Consulting Group
Potomac, Maryland
author, Tree Law Cases in the USA

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