Tree Removal Guidelines 

When submitting a request for tree permit through your city, town, county, or HOA; our certified arborists are standing by to assist you with a wealth of tools at our disposal including compilation of tree risk assessments, arborist letters, and custom tree detail reports.

Most tree removal permit requests will require the DBH (diameter at breast height) which is measured at approximately 4.5′ up the trunk from ground level. In this location you will need to wrap a tape measure around the tree obtaining the circumference, then divide it by 3.14 to find your approximate DBH.

However it is important to note that each tree is different and finding the correct location can vary on a per tree basis. Remember to divide your circumference by 3.14 to complete the calculation!!!

Berkeley County

Berkeley Country does not have a tree protection ordinance. However there are landscape buffer requirments on new construction.

Charleston County

Single-family residential, all trees 24″ and greater require permit with exception to Pines.
Multi-Family residential, all trees 8″ and greater are protected in effort to retain a buffer.

City of Charleston

Single-family residential properties, all trees 24″ and greater are protected and require permit with exception of Pines and Sweet Gums.

Dorchester County

All trees greater than 12” DBH require permit with exception to Pines. However Pines 24″ DBH and greater reach a protected class as well.

Goose Creek

Yes the city does not regulate the removal of trees on a developed residential property. However, should the tree be located within a drainage easement, we ask that you contact Berkeley County’s roads and bridges office to request an encroachment permit, if required.

Hollywood

Generally. permits for tree removal may be approved where one or more of the following conditions are deemed to exist by the town planner/zoning administrator:

(1) Trees are not required to be retained by the provisions of this article.

(2) Trees are diseased, dead or dying (as determined by the town planner/zoning administrator or a qualified arborist.

(3) Trees pose an imminent safety hazard to nearby buildings, or pedestrian or vehicular traffic (as determined by the town planner/zoning administrator or a qualified arborist).

Clarification: Trees located within up to 15 feet beyond building footprint, driveways/parking area footprint, are permitted to be removed.

(4) Trees located within the approved footprint of a building present an unreasonable hardship to move the footprint of the building to another site on the lot (as determined by the town planner/zoning administrator or a qualified arborist).

Isle of Palms

Permit is required to remove any tree or limb over 8″ in diameter. The city will require a certified arborist letter to perform larger cuts or removals.

James Island

Permit required for any species of tree measuring 24” or greater, except Pine, Sweet gum, and invasive species. A permit is also required for removing more than 25% of the tree’s canopy or for the removal of three or more limbs with an individual diameter of six inches or greater.

Ladson

Ladson is not an incorporated municipality but rather a postal town designated by the US Postal Service. It does span 3 counties – Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester. It is also has 3 municipalities with the Town of Summerville, City of North Charleston, and City of Goose Creek.

Please see maps to determine your municipality.

Moncks Corner

It is the desire of Moncks Corner Town Council to preserve existing trees to the greatest extent possible. Permits for removal of protected trees may be approved and issued where one or more of the following conditions are deemed to exist by either the administrator or Moncks Corner

Town Council:

(1) Trees are diseased, dead or dying;

(2) Trees pose a safety hazard to nearby buildings, utility lines, or pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

(3) Trees prevent essential grade changes or all reasonable utility installations;

(4) Trees prevent all reasonable site configurations;

(5) Removal of trees is the only reasonable means by which building, zoning, subdivision, health, public safety, or other town requirements can be met;

(6) Trees are located on the construction site and up to five feet around the perimeter of the construction site of an approved building and related driveway/parking area;

(7) The lot is of such density with existing trees that the removal of certain protected trees is considered beneficial;

(8) Removal of trees has otherwise been approved by Town Council.

(a) Grand trees may only be removed when approved by action of a majority of Town Council.

(b) The approving authority may require tree replacement as a condition of approval.

Where replacement trees are required in fulfillment of the requirements of this section, they shall be no smaller than two and one-half inches DBH. Moncks Corner Town Council is empowered to require trees of larger DBH or a greater number of replacement trees as determined appropriate for site specific conditions and the circumstances.

Mount Pleasant

Residential properties, all trees 16″ and greater are protected and require permit with exception of Bradford Pear, Camphor, Chinaberry, Chinese Tallow (popcorn tree), Callary Pear varieties, Mimosa, Pines, River Birch, Sweet Gum, and White Poplar. Trees located within special buffer areas, however, may still be protected regardless of size or species.

North Charleston

You must contact the zoning office to remove or prune any trees in the city of North Charleston. Trees greater than 10″ in diameter are considered “significant trees” and are protected to the extent practical and feasible.

Ravenel

A tree permit is required for the removal of trees in excess of 24 inches in diameter, excluding pine and gum.  Any residential activity proposing tree removal over 24″ DBH, requires a site diagram.

Seabrook Island

No living tree which is twelve (12″) inches or more in diameter at a point four and one-half (4½) feet above ground level may be removed or relocated without a removal permit as provided for hereinafter. Trees that require such permit for removal or relocation shall hereinafter be called “protected” trees.

Applications for removal or relocation shall be approved by the Zoning Administrator only as to protected trees that pose a safety hazard; are weakened by disease, age, storm, fire, or other injury; or which prevent the reasonable development of the lot. Protected trees shall not be removed or relocated for the purpose of locating utility lines and connections unless no reasonably practical alternative is available.

Sullivan’s Island

Homeowner must obtain permits for removal of any tree or limb 6″ in diameter or greater.

Summerville

All trees greater than 6” DBH require permit.

The Town of Summerville has had a Tree Protection Ordinance since the mid 1800’s. The ordinance strives to protect the natural beauty of the Town and insure the adequate preservation of trees. All trees (all species) six inches in diameter at breast height (DBH), including dead trees, require a permit to be removed. Permits for removal of trees for new construction projects are included in the building permit and reviewed as part of site plan review. All trees 16” or greater must be approved by the Town’s Tree Advisory Protection Committee. The Committee also reviews any appeals to tree removals that have been denied by staff or a single member of the Committee. The Committee is made up of both staff members and citizens.

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Mount Pleasant

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