“Trophy Trees” Are the New Wealth Status Symbol For Super Rich Americans

“Trophy trees” have become the new status symbol for America's uber-rich, with wealthy homeowners paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to have the prized plants shipped into their yards on helicopters and flatbed trucks. While most wealthy Americans can buy a Bentley or a Rolex, trees are one-of-a-kind objects that allow their owner to distinguish themselves and advance their status. Miami-based landscaper Walter Acree has transported trees for the city’s super rich, who can pay up to a quarter of a million dollars for them. The way the process normally works is for a client to scope out trees in other people’s gardens and outside local businesses, then approach the owners with an unsolicited offer. Most sellers are ecstatic about receiving thousands of dollars for an object they believed was relatively worthless, though there are some who are unwilling to part with the trees. The cost of moving trees varies, from $10,000 for a very small tree to $250,000 for quite large ones.