I received my claim resolution packet the other day from DuPont and it seems a copy was also sent to the lawn applicator company as I received a visit from them today and they had a copy of the packet to go over any questions. I'm not sure if other applicators are doing this but I found it helpful to go over it with him.
I have 5 Norway Spruce between 20-25 feet and 1 arborvitae that was affected. The claim recommended that 4 of the spruce be replaced and the arborvitae and the other spruce be put on a care program and basically watched for a year. I'm no arborist but if you had asked me ahead of time what I think should happen based on how the trees looked I would have made the same recommendation.
In the resolution I have money for removal, replacement, maintenance and the 15% additional compensation to cover hassle and misc. The removal money (which looked high to me) would not come directly to me but instead would go to someone DuPont designates (surprise, my applicator) to ensure everything is properly removed. The rest of the money would get paid directly to me for use however I want. If I want my replacement trees warranted by DuPont I would need to use one of their recommended companies but I don't have to if I don't want to. The prices seem fair (though I need to get outside estimates).
My question is do I bother with the maintenance or do I dispute the claim and just go for the replacement now. There was no real growth on it, a few buds and whatever growth there was is "abnormal" (not at the tips but rather in weird spots that basically would need to be pruned). If I'm going to replace I'd just as soon replace them all at once as from everything I'm reading it sounds like it won't come back anyways. Realistically I think I'll be able to replace them with 12-16 foot trees so the old one will stand out quite a bit from the new ones. At the same time I don't want to dispute it and have everything drag on for another 6-9 months (or longer). Of course it may take that long to get paid anyways since there is no time frame listed for payment but I'm guessing it won't take that long...
It also doesn't seem right that I can't go to a different "recommended" partner for tree removal. It almost seems as that is a bit of a concession to the applicators for the mess that DuPont put them in.