Looking for affordable tree removal service in Columbia, SC? Great! TreeTriage is at your service 24/7.

In this guide, we cover common questions including:

  • How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost?
  • Does The City Provide Any Assistance?
  • Who Is Responsible For Fallen Trees?
  • How To Save Your Lawn Before And After Tree Service?
  • What About Trees Near Power Lines?
  • And Why Tree Triage Is The Best Tree Removal Company For You!
Tree Removal Service Columbia, SC-1

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Columbia, SC


Hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm (EST)
Area Served: Columbia, SC


Tree Removal Service
Tree Trimming
Emergency Tree Removal
Stump Grinding

What Are The Most Common Tree Issues In Columbia?

Two dominant tree species are found in the forests of South Carolina. Evergreens such as pine and cedar trees are classified as conifers and have needle-like foliage and cone-shaped fruits. Broadleaf trees are deciduous and include oak, maple, and elm. They develop new leaves every spring, turning to the vibrant fall foliage seen annually in Columbia.

One of the most common issues with trees in Columbia involves pest infestation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Asian longhorned beetle has caused “more damage than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight and gypsy moths combined.” These non-native invaders are responsible for destroying millions of acres of national forest. The South Carolina Forestry Commission requires that infested trees be destroyed and the stump ground to soil level to limit further spread. If you notice dime-sized football-shaped notches in the bark of the tree and limbs are dying, the presence of the Asian longhorned beetle is likely.

The emerald ash borer has caused devastation to the ash trees of Columbia. The state has issued a quarantine on this species, restricting the transport of hardwood firewood outside the County to limit the spread. Signs of infestation include reduced foliage, D-shaped holes in the bark, yellowing leaves, and buds or sprouts around the base. Woodpeckers are often seen around an infested tree since they actively feed on the larvae of the insect.

If you find trees on your property that are infested or showing signs of disease, feel free to contact us at Tree Triage to discuss your options for tree removal.

Does The City of Columbia Provide Any Assistance In Tree Removal Problems?

The Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission oversees the removal and preservation of trees on private and public property. Section 17-5.4 of the zoning ordinance includes the protection of trees having a diameter greater than eight inches. It also mandates the preservation of existing canopy cover on new development sites.

The City’s municipal code requires a tree removal permit for any grand tree located in Columbia. If a homeowner wants to remove a protected tree, they must submit a detailed landscape plan to the zoning administrator for approval. 

The Landscape & Tree Ordinance protects trees on public property. Treasured trees that offer significant value to the community are exempt from removal. 

A federal grant provided by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act covers the cost of hazard tree removals that encroach public right-of-ways. There is no assistance provided for tree removal on private property.

Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal In Columbia?

Trees that are damaged or unhealthy should be removed to prevent them from falling unexpectedly and causing damage to you or your neighbor’s property. Unwanted trees can create a risk to both your family and home.

South Carolina law states that a homeowner can be held legally responsible for any damage caused by a fallen tree if they were aware of unsafe conditions but chose to do nothing about it.

If you’re a homeowner?

If a tree falls on your property, and you had no indication of any issues, your homeowner’s insurance policy will protect you from damages to your property. The cost of removing the tree, and replacing or repairing the damaged property, will be covered.

It is essential to check your insurance policy before disaster strikes. Some insurance companies do not cover or have restrictions relating to loss from high winds, rain, and “acts of God.” A separate flood insurance policy is necessary for any damage that occurs as a result of flooding.

According to South Carolina state law, damage caused by an “act of God” is generally not covered if the homeowner failed to take “adequate precautionary measures.” The law states, “The failure to take steps to remove, or at least secure, a diseased or dead tree may well make a homeowner liable for damages if the tree is uprooted by a disaster and thereby damages neighboring property or persons.”

If your insurance company denies the claim and you are still in need of assistance, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA. The government agency may assist in structural repairs to retain the property to a “safe and livable” condition. They typically will not cover cosmetic repairs or debris removal.

If you’re a renter?

Renting a property means that you do not retain ownership of the building or land. The landlord or property management company will handle all issues relating to tree removal. Your only responsibility is to contact the landlord if you notice any pending problems with existing trees on the property.

Renter’s insurance is not required in South Carolina, but some landlords may request proof of insurance as part of the lease agreement. Securing a policy will protect your personal belongings in the event of an unforeseen problem relating to a fallen tree.

If you’re a landlord?

In Columbia, landlords are responsible for maintaining and making all necessary repairs to the rental property. This responsibility includes all landscaping and trees that exist on the property. The landlord, not the tenant, must address tree trimming and tree removal issues.

If you’re a neighbor?

If a tree standing on your property falls and damages your neighbor’s property, their insurance provider will be responsible for handling the claim. If a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, and it was healthy before the occurrence, your neighbor is not responsible. File a claim with your insurance company.

Keep in mind that you have the right to trim tree limbs and branches from a neighboring tree that encroaches onto your property. However, it is unlawful for you to cut or trim a tree past your property line. You cannot go onto a neighbor’s property in or any way destroy the standing tree.

South Carolina law (Section 16-11-520) states, “It is unlawful for a person to willfully and maliciously cut, mutilate, deface, or otherwise injure a tree” or “commit any other trespass upon real property of another.”

Any person who violates this ordinance is guilty of a felony offense punishable by fine, imprisonment up to ten years, or both.

The Code Enforcement Division of Columbia enforces local ordinances relating to the improper care and maintenance of trees. If a neighbor refuses to remove a damaged tree from their property, the City can offer assistance (803-545-3430).

How Does The Soil Affect Trees In Columbia?

Columbia is located in the geographical center of the state. The northern section of the County contains rolling hills and is pretty high. The southern region consists of level plains.

Red clay lies about eight inches below the sandy loam gritty soil found in most of the County. The heavier clay presents a challenge to the health of growing tree roots.

The depth of soil compaction also impacts the survival of trees in the County. Healthy growth relies on soil that contains the proper pH level and necessary nutrients to promote a sustainable environment.

Does Weather Affect Tree Health In Columbia?

The climate of Columbia affords an abundance of rainfall with short, mild winters and long, warm summers. Over the years, the City has seen an increase in powerful storms that can cause catastrophic damage, especially to the trees in the area.

While wet weather in the spring and summer attributes to favorable tree growth, it is also the perfect climate for insects and diseases that feed on healthy trees. Foliage disease can cause a tree to lose its leaves and become stressed. It becomes difficult for the tree to fight off insect infestation, leading to catastrophic damage.

The changing climate patterns in the U.S. lead to a vulnerability of South Carolina’s trees, like never seen before.

What If Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines In Columbia?

Dominion Energy is responsible for removing tree limbs or branches that come in contact with overhead power lines. Following the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations, they can “direct future growth away from power lines while leaving remaining limbs intact.”

The power company trims all neighborhood power lines on a four-year cycle, notwithstanding storms or excessive growth. This plan reduces the risk of harm to residents and their property.

OSHA-certified professionals trim the trees that surround power lines in Richland County. It is unlawful for residents to attempt to cut their trees that are near a power line. Trying to take care of this yourself can result in serious injury.

Dominion Energy requests homeowners contact them at 800-251-7234 if they have a tree or limb currently touching a power line. Never attempt to remove a tree or tree limb that has fallen onto the power line, as it contains 7,200 volts of dangerous electricity.

The trained professionals will only trim limbs that are causing a threat. They will not cut down live or dead trees but will disconnect service at no cost to property owners so that they may safely remove the tree. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to call us to remove the dead tree and any debris left from its removal.

Dead trees pose a significant threat and must be removed to ensure the safe operation of power throughout the County.

How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Columbia?

Tree removal averages between $200 to $750 but can cost up to around $1,800. The total varies based on several factors.

Size of the Tree

The first factor used to determine the cost of tree removal is the size of the tree. The width, height, and diameter of the stump are considered.

Large trees will cost more to remove because of the additional labor needed for safe removal. Small trees are easier to handle and will range between $125 and $450 for removal. While an older tree could cost up to $2,000, most trees fall in the midrange, costing no more than $750.

Condition of Tree

If a tree has already fallen, the removal cost will be significantly lower since the tree does not need to be cut down. If stump removal is necessary, there will be an additional surcharge of approximately $150.

The best time to have a tree removed is in the spring before new leaves start to grow and the branches are still bare.

Access to the Tree

If a tree is located in a difficult-to-access spot on your property, the cost to remove it will be significantly higher. The need for special equipment, such as a crane, will also reflect a higher price to the homeowner.

Think of it this way, a tree that is sitting in the middle of the front yard with no imposing obstacles will cost much less to remove than a tree in a gated backyard that has restricted access and infringes on a neighboring property.  


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Recent Requests We Received From Customers In Columbia, SC

Date of Request: November 29, 2022

Location: Columbia, SC


My daughter recently purchased a home at 112 Barton Bend Lane. The previous owner had a tree removed, but the stump remains. I would like to get an estimate on removing the stump - I know there are pipes/sewer line underneath.

Date of Request: December 1, 2022

Location: Columbia, SC


I need a quote on getting rid of 5 pine trees in my front yard for eventual restoration of my yard. I want to make a circular driveway. 5 small pines need to be removed and two possibly you can give advice. Thanks.

Date of Request: November 28, 2022

Location: Columbia, SC


River Birch Tree in Front-- tree limb hanging in neighbors driveway -- need limb cut.

Date of Request: November 28, 2022

Location: Columbia, SC


I have two very large walnut maples trees to be removed and one small one.

Date of Request: November 28, 2022

Location: Columbia, SC


Branches , limbs and bushes removal.

Date of Request: November 28, 2022

Location: Columbia, SC


Stump grinding.

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