Stay up to Date!  Different counties have different tree guidelines.

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South Carolina Tree Protection & Removal Guidelines

TREE REMOVAL FAQ BY MUNICIPALITY

For tree removal purposes, the Greater Charleston area is divided into cities, towns, and areas that fall under county jurisdiction. Homeowners may need to verify which of these areas their residence falls under before attempting to remove a tree. 

Removing trees without the proper permit, if required, can result in expensive fines and mitigation sanctions. Use the following guidelines to plan your tree care, but always give your town hall a call before doing the work to ensure you are adhering to your town or county ordinances. 

How to Determine Your Tree's Diameter at Breast Height (DBH)

All tree removals will require a measurement of the tree’s trunk at breast height (DBH) to determine eligibility for removal. 

To obtain this number: 

  • Measure your tree’s trunk at 4 ft high by wrapping a tape measure around the tree. 
  • This will give you the circumference. 
  • Divide the circumference by 3.14 
  • This is the diameter at breast height or DBH.

New Leaf Tree Service is licensed to work in the following areas and has extensive knowledge of their permitting requirements. 

A South Carolina Arborist with Experience You Can Trust

Our professional arborist has established good working relationships with all of the city arborists and administrators, ensuring that all regulations and ordinances are obeyed and red tape is minimized. This translates into faster service for the customer. Where allowed, New Leaf Tree Service will even pull permits on the homeowner's behalf.

Call (843) 603-8696 or Contact Us Online to Schedule an Estimate

MT. PLEASANT TREE REMOVAL GUIDELINES

Designated "Tree City USA “ by the Arbor Day Foundation for over 20 years, Mt Pleasant has a detailed plan for preserving the town’s trees. 

For single-family residences: 

  • Any tree with a DBH over 16” is considered a protected tree and will require a site visit and permit for removal except for the following species: pine, sweetgum, bradford pear, riverbirch, mimosa, chinaberry, Chinese tallow (popcorn), camphor and white poplar. 
  • Protected trees larger than 24” DBH will require a variance and approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals. 
    • Submit requests online or call the town’s planning and zoning department at 843-884-8517. 
  • Homeowners will need to obtain their permits in Mt Pleasant; however, our certified arborist can write a letter regarding damaged, diseased, or otherwise compromised trees to facilitate the process of protected tree removal.

Tree Removal FAQ for Other Counties

ISLE OF PALMS

  • Any tree or branch over 8” in diameter will require a permit for removal. 
  • Call 843-886-9912 for permission before cutting trees on Isle of Palms. 
  • The city will require a letter from a certified arborist to remove trees or tree parts over 8” that are damaged, diseased or otherwise compromising adjacent structures or concrete. 
  • Our certified arborist can facilitate this process free of charge when you choose New Leaf to perform your tree work.

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND

  • Any tree or branch over 6” DBH will require a permit for removal. 
  • Sullivan’s Island has strict guidelines about when cutting activities may take place and companies must display the Sullivan’s Island sticker on their vehicles in order to do work on the island. 
  • Fines of up to $1500 per worker can be issued for violations so be sure and call the town hall for permission and verification of business licensing on the island at 843-883-3198. 
  • If you use New Leaf Tree Service for your tree work, we will pull permits on Sullivan’s Island.

CITY OF CHARLESTON

The City of Charleston includes peninsular Charleston and parts of West Ashley and James Island. 

  • The city protects all trees except pines and sweet gums that are 24” DBH and greater. Removal of trees that fall into this category will require a site visit and a permit from the city for removal. 
  • Call to schedule at 843-724-3781. 
  • Homeowners will need to pull their own permits for tree removal in Charleston. Parts of West Ashley and James Island that are not under city jurisdiction fall under the Charleston County guidelines which are outlined below.

CHARLESTON COUNTY

  • For single-family residences, the ordinance for Charleston County protects any tree except for pines greater than 24” DBH. 
    • Removal of any tree greater than 24” DBH will require a site visit and permit. 
  • For multi-family units, a buffer must be retained and trees of 8” or more are protected. 
  • Call (843) 603-8696 for information or to apply for a permit. 
  • Homeowners must pull their own tree removal permits in Charleston County.

Turn Over a New Leaf With Us

At New Leaf Tree Service, we have built our reputation on outstanding quality of work, exceptional customer service, and a proven track record of safe working practices to customers in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, South Carolina.

  • Outstanding Reviews
  • Meticulous Clean Up
  • Excellent Job Site Service
  • WC & GL Insured
  • ISA Certified Arborists
  • Environmentally Friendly

Hear from Our Happy Customers

Tree Services That Care

Certified Arbolists

  • “Not only did they provide excellent work, but from contact to quote, to scheduling, to completion was top of the line.”

    Brent G.
  • “Extremely professional and efficient.”

    Catherine G.
  • “They are a 1st class operation with fair prices.”

    T Walker

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Common Areas We Serve
  • • Mount Pleasant
  • Tree Care Maintenance
  • Guidelines & FAQs
  • • Charleston
  • Questions? We're here to assist!
  • Plant Health Care
  • • Isle of Palms
  • • Sullivan’s Island
  • • West Ashley
  • • James Island
  • • Goose Creek
  • • Hanahan
  • •North Charleston
  • • Folly Beach
  • • Daniel Island