What are the Tree Removal Restrictions in Charleston, SC?

Charleston, SC believes in maintaining the natural beauty by preserving its wildlife and trees. To ensure the preservation of trees, tree removal may not be allowed in certain situations. Please reference below for a list of restrictions.

Here at the Premiere Tree Services of Charleston, we make it a point to keep our customers informed. So aside from providing exceptional residential and commercial tree services, we also publish updates relating to tree regulations and tree permits.

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

Tree removal restrictions

  1. Protection of Grand Trees. The removal, relocation, destruction or abuse in any manner of any grand tree (24˝ or greater D.B.H., excluding pine trees) is prohibited on any parcel of non-exempt land unless a variance, special exception, or staff approval has been obtained pursuant to Section 54-329. For subdivisions, the siting of a lot so as to place a grand tree at or near the center of a lot in a location that will require the removal of the grand tree for construction of a dwelling unit, shall be prohibited.
  2. Protected Trees Prior to Development. Where a building permit or subdivision approval has not been issued, the removal, relocation, destruction or abuse in any manner of more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the protected trees (8˝ or greater D.B.H.) on any one (1) parcel of non-exempt land within any five (5) year period shall be prohibited. The total number of protected trees existing on any one parcel shall not be reduced below a total number equal to fifteen (15) protected trees per acre.
  3. Protected trees during or after development. The removal, relocation, destruction or abuse in any manner of protected trees required to be saved by this Chapter is prohibited. For parcels of land proposed for development, a minimum number of protected trees on the entire parcel equal to fifteen (15) protected trees per acre shall be saved. For parcels containing less than fifteen (15) protected trees per acre, the total number of protected treesrequired to be saved shall equal the total number of protected trees existing on the parcel. Grand trees to be saved may be used to calculate the total number of protected trees to be saved.
  4. Protection of Tree Colonnades and Allees. The removal, relocation, destruction or abuse in any manner of any protected tree within a colonnade or allee is prohibited on any parcel of non-exempt land. For the purpose of this ordinance, a colonnade or allee is defined as any two (2) or more parallel rows of trees of the same species with a minimum of four (4) trees total and a minimum of two (2) trees measuring twenty inches (20˝) or greater D.B.H., except for pine trees and parallel rows of trees with a public right-of-way in the center which are exempt from this definition.
  5. This Ordinance shall not restrict the ability of the City of Charleston, public utilities, and electric suppliers from maintaining safe clearance around utility lines.
  6. The area of existing utility and drainage easements may be subtracted from the total site area for the purpose of calculating the number of protected trees required to be saved.
  7. The following standards shall apply regarding the removal and disposal of trees and vegetation associated with land development approved by the Subdivision Review Committee and/or the Technical Review Committee: Definitions. For the purpose of this subsection, the following items shall be defined as follows:
    1. “Burning” means the setting on fire, igniting of or combustion of any trees, understory trees, brush or other vegetation.
    2. “Incineration” means the process of lighting and burning trees, understory trees, brush or other vegetation.
    3. “Incinerator” means any instrument or devise used or intended for the purpose of incineration.

    No person, firm or corporation shall incinerate and/or burn any trees, understory trees, brush or other vegetation or cause the process of incineration to take place and/or use an incinerator when clearing trees, understorytrees, brush or other vegetation for an approved residential subdivision and/or any other approved development land in the City of Charleston.

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 begin your tree project, the tree pros at the Premiere Tree Services of Charleston are equally excited 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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