What are the Standards for Approval to Remove Trees in Charleston, SC?

Tree removal is unavoidable when trees are diseased, dead, or pose a threat to the public. In most situations, trees are generally protected under Charleston, SC state rules and regulations. However the state also recognizes the fact that some trees need to be removed. Below you’ll find the approval standards for tree removal.

Here at the Premiere Tree Services of Charleston, we make it our job to keep our customers up-to-date. Aside from providing exceptional tree planting, lightning protection and tree removal, we also take time to inform our community on the latest tree regulation and tree permit updates.

Contact the Premiere Tree Services of Charleston for all your tree service needs.

Standards for approval to remove trees

  1. The removal of a protected tree, that is not a grand tree, in violation of the standards set forth in Section 54-327 shall be approved if the Zoning Administrator finds that one or more of the following conditions exist. Treesremoved under the following conditions shall require replacement with two (2), two and one-half inch (2½˝) caliper recommended trees (see Appendix A). This section shall not apply to grand trees.
    1. The protected tree is located at least twenty-five feet (25′) away from the property line and where a proposed building or accessory structure is to be placed in accordance with other City standards; or
    2. The protected tree creates unsafe vision on a public street or right-of-way as defined by Section 54-351
    3. The protected tree has a D.B.H. of eight inches (8˝) to fifteen inches (15˝), is located at least twenty-five feet (25′) from the property line within a parking lot providing no more than the maximum number of hard surfaced parking spaces allowed by this chapter, and the Zoning Administrator determines that no other design alternative exists to save the tree.
  2. Removal of a grand tree shall require approval of a variance, except for grand trees listed under category III or category IV in Section 54-331 which shall require approval of a special exception where the Board finds that the grand tree is in poor health, that removal of the grand tree will allow protection of a specimen tree, as defined herein, which would otherwise be removed if the grand tree is saved, or that the grand tree is located within a proposed building footprint, street, road, driveway, drainage way, or parking area and no other reasonable design or economically reasonable alternative exists to save the tree.
  3. Each protected or grand tree that is determined by the Zoning Administrator to be hazardous, diseased or injured to the extent it is irreparably damaged shall be approved for removal. The burden of providing proof of the extent of the hazard, disease or injury shall rest with the applicant, who must provide documentation from a qualified arborist. When there is a question of tree hazard, the Zoning Administrator may require documentation, including strength loss calculations for the portion of the tree creating the hazard, from an arborist who has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture or who is otherwise qualified. Each live tree which is approved for removal shall require replacement with one (1) recommended tree of an equivalent species.
  4. Each protected or grand tree that is determined by the Zoning Administrator to be causing structural damage to a habitable building where said damage cannot be remedied without removing the tree shall be approved for removal. When there is a question of whether tree removal is necessary, the Zoning Administrator may require documentation from an arborist who is certified by the International Society of Arboriculture or, who is otherwise qualified, that said damage cannot be successfully halted through root pruning and installation of a root barrier while maintaining the structural integrity of the tree. Each tree removed shall require replacement with one (1) recommended tree of an equivalent species.

The information contained in this website has been provided for informational purposes only. It is general in nature, and should not be mistaken for specific legal advice. All information on this website is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or correctness, and without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied.

We know you’re excited to start on your tree project. Our experienced arborists at the Premiere Tree Services of Charleston are here to help! You’re just a call or click away from getting started! Please contact the Premiere Tree Services of Charleston by phone at (843) 480-0333, or by email charleston@premieretreeservices.com, or visit us at 520 Folly Rd. Ste. P #113 Charleston, SC 29412.

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