Demonstrating the value of the 200+ year old tree in the back yard is key to negotiations with the contractor:
1. We generally recommend that the Consulting Arborist performs an inventory of the treees on the property and an appraisal according to the Council of Tree & Landscape Appraisers Guide for Plant Appraisal 9th Edition.
2. Use the Trunk Formula, Cost of Repair or Cost of Cure Method for calcuating your tree value.
3. Your Arborist can also help you write specifications into your contract with any home builder that basically holds them accountable if they damage the tree further.
4. Requiring the home builder or yourself install a Tree Protection Zone (with signage of the value of the tree posted). You can also require a Performance Bond be held for up to 10 years after completion of construction to "guarantee" they do not damage the tree, including the root system, which is as large as the branches. In your case these branches span into adjacent precincts, county lines, city lines, and neighboring property shades.
I think he must be jealous of the average $37 air conditioning cost we used to have on High Street. Anyone know a good arborist I could marry?