Tree Removal GuidelinesBelow you will find the different removal guidelines and protection ordinances in various areas we service.
Call Before You Cut
It is important for you to verify which area your residence falls into so that you are abiding by the correct removal rules and regulations.
The diameter of the tree, also referred to as DBH (diameter at breast height), is measured at “breast height” which is 4.5′ up the trunk of the tree from the ground. Measure the circumference of the tree, then divide it by 3.14 to get your accurate tree diameter (DBH). Watch the video below, by Portland Parks and Recreation, for a visual on how to accurately measure DBH.
When submitting requests for permits through your city, town, or county; our certified arborists are happy to write a letter to aid in the process. This is usually done when a tree is deemed hazardous: unhealthy, or a danger to nearby structures or occupants. This service is free of charge when you choose us to complete your tree work.
List of Towns:
Town of Mount Pleasant
Tree Protection –
For residential properties within the Town, trees that are 16″ in diameter or greater are protected and require approval for removal. 24″ or greater are considered Historic and approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals may be required prior to removal. However, unless located in a buffer, the following trees are not protected regardless of size and can be removed at any time: pines, Sweet Gum, Callary Pear varieties, River Birch, Mimosa, Chinaberry, Chinese Tallow, Camphor tree and White Poplar. Please note that the removal of replacement trees or trees within a required buffer is prohibited.
Tree Removal & Replacement
In some cases, tree replacement may be required when one is removed. Prior to the issuance of a permit for tree removal, a residential tree removal request form must be submitted. This form can be completed online. To access the form, select “report a concern” from their homepage. The request tracker section of the website will open and you can choose the tree removal request. You will have to create a user name and password. Once the form has been completed and submitted, a member of the Planning Department staff will visit the site to review the request to determine if removal can be approved by staff and if so, the required mitigation. You will then receive a response to your online request. The amount of required tree replacement will be based on the quality of the tree being removed. Replacement trees must be one of the species provided in the Town canopy tree list found in section 156.201(G)(1) of the Town of Mount Pleasant Code of Ordinances accessible online. In cases where replacement trees cannot be accommodated on site, a fee may be paid to the Town tree bank in lieu of planting.
Town of Sullivans Island
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City of Isle of Palms
Permits for removal are required for any tree or limb 8″ in diameter or greater. Contact Isle of Palms via telephone before having your tree removed.
City of Charleston
All trees are protected in the City of Charleston, except pines and Sweet Gums, measuring 24″ in diameter or greater. Removals will require a permit from the city and a site visit the homeowner must call to schedule.
City of North Charleston
You must call the zoning office to remove any trees or do pruning in the City of North Charleston. Existing trees greater than 10″ in diameter are considered “significant trees” and are protected to the extent practical and feasible. Removal of “significant trees” is prohibited without a permit.
All trees 24″ in diameter or greater are protected, except pines. Removal of any tree greater than 24″ in diameter will require a permit and site visit. With multi-family units trees 8″ in diameter or greater are protected, as they must retain a buffer.
Berkeley County does not have a tree protection ordinance.