"A few years ago, Mr. Johnson had a client who beat out basketball great Michael Jordan in a bidding war over a 45-foot canopied oak tree, which Mr. Johnson deemed the ideal tree. The deal for the oak closed in the low six figures.
“You want a tree that’s balanced,” Mr. Johnson said. “With this tree, it was perfectly proportioned and had a lot of character. The way the branches went off in both directions. This was the perfect oak tree.”
The absurdity of the situation isn’t lost on Mr. Acree. He said his wealthiest clients are finance and business types whose wealth dwarfs that of movie and music stars. “If they want it, it will happen,” he said with a laugh.
Once, he got into a debate with Mr. (Enrique) Iglesias over which way a tree he was installing on his property should face; Mr. Acree thought the curve of the tree should bend away from the house, as it would in the natural world, but Mr. Iglesias wanted it bent toward the house. Against his own judgment, he did it Mr. Iglesias’s way. A short while later, the singer called to have him rotate it back, he said. A representative for Mr. Iglesias didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The appeal of transporting a trophy tree is easy to explain, said Raymond Jungles, a Miami-based landscape architect. For one, a big tree helps mitigate the scale of a very big house. A unique or particularly old tree, like a piece of art, is also a great conversation piece. Lastly, it means high-net-worth buyers don’t have to wait for a newly planted tree to grow on their site."