Baobabs, banyans and ficuses: The uber wealthy are spending green to see green.
Trophy trees are the latest object of desire for well-heeled buyers, particularly as the pandemic has made many individuals more familiar with their home environs.
For the horticultural must-haves, one modest South Florida landscaping company has pioneered novel ways to acquire and sell the arboreal attractions, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Walter Acree, owner of Green Integrity’s in Deerfield Beach, drives his wealthy clients around South Florida to look at others’ yards and gardens. Once they spot a tree the client wants, Acree makes an unsolicited offer.
The process is imperfect — some people think he’s trying to scam them — but it often works.
“It’s the busiest the business has ever been and we’re doing things at a scale that is just remarkable,” said one tree seller who once had basketball great Michael Jordan bid on a 45-foot canopied oak tree. (He was turned down.)
In Los Angeles, developer Michael Chen said it took 18 months to find and install the arboreal centerpiece for a $65 million spec mansion he was building in Beverly Hills. In Miami, a megamansion featuring a large ficus tree sold for $29 million.
One type of tree remains out of reach. “Sometimes their grandmother planted it or they planted it for their dad or something,” Acree told the Journal. “Those you never get.”
[WSJ] — Orion Jones