Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lady’s Island?
- 2 Does the City of Lady’s Island Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
- 3 Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Lady’s Island?
- 4 How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lady’s Island?
- 5 Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lady’s Island?
- 6 What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lady’s Island?
- 7 How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lady’s Island?
What Are the Most Common Tree Issues in Lady’s Island?
Located north of Beaufort and Port Royal, the small town of Lady’s Island exudes Southern hospitality. The rich land that allowed for the cultivation of indigo plantations is now home to maritime forests.
Following the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, the wooded habitat is a prime environment for tree growth. The roots hold together the sandy soil, acting as a barrier against storms and helping to prevent erosion. In addition, the soil in Maritime forests retains its moisture, ensuring the survival of the many organisms living in the area.
Unfortunately, trees that live in this environment are susceptible to disease, decay, and destruction. As residential housing began to expand on Lady’s Island, the trees were left to grow in a changing habitat. Removal of these trees can impact future coastal resilience, leaving marsh areas unprotected and destabilizing the entire region.
The Palmetto Palm is the South Carolina state tree, proudly displayed below a crescent moon on the state flag. Oak trees are abundant in the area, with the biggest threat to these native trees being the oak leaf blister. The leaves of an infected tree are lighter colored with blister-like patches that eventually turn brown, leading to defoliation in the summer months.
Other invaders of trees found in Lady’s Island include:
- Annosus Root Rot: The most common disease found on conifer and pine trees in South Carolina, causing a reduction in growth rate, making the trees susceptible to bark beetle invasion.
- Emerald Ash Borer: A beetle that works like a termite, infecting the tree from within, causing severe tree destruction. Look for yellowing leaves during the offseason, D-shaped holes in the bark, dying branches, and woodpecker activity.
- Oak Wilt: A fungus that feeds off the roots of oak trees, leaving a wilted look on the bark with rust-colored leaves.
Does the City of Lady’s Island Provide Any Assistance in Tree Removal Problems?
According to the Beaufort County Community Development Code Section 5.11.100.G, the “removal of any tree within a river buffer shall require a tree removal permit.” It does not apply to invasive species.
All trees in the county are protected, and permission for tree removal will only be granted if it is “difficult or impossible to reasonably use the property without removing the tree.”
The removal of a Grand Tree requires a permit before any work may commence. The application will only be considered if the tree is “dead, diseased, hollow, or has another condition that poses a hazard to people or structures on the lot or adjoining lot as determined by a certified arborist.”
All other trees on a residential lot, except those within a required buffer, do not need a permit for removal. Utility companies in Lady’s Island have the authority to remove specimen trees while maintaining rights-of-way for public safety.
If trees fall on your property during a storm, and you are not insured, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may be able to assist.
Who Is Responsible For Fallen Tree Removal in Lady’s Island?
A tree can fall unexpectedly for several reasons, each scenario providing a different outcome as to who bears responsibility for the damage and cost for the removal of the tree. Let’s take a look at each unique situation:
If you’re a homeowner?
According to South Carolina law, if a tree falls on your property, you cannot be held liable if an “Act of God” was the sole cause of the incurred damages.
Most insurance companies provide coverage for tree removal if a storm caused the damage, although many have exclusions. It is essential to understand your policy. Insurance typically does not cover the removal of neglected trees or healthy trees that you want to remove to improve curb appeal.
If you’re a renter?
As a renter in Lady’s Island, you do not retain property ownership to the building or land you are leasing. Therefore, the landlord bears all responsibility for issues relating to tree removal and subsequent damages.
Your only responsibility is to inform the landlord of any potential problems with trees on the property. You have no liability for the costs surrounding a fallen tree but should notify the landlord so that they can take the appropriate action.
While renter’s insurance is not mandatory in Lady’s Island, it is a good idea to have to protect your personal belongings.
If you’re a landlord?
As a landlord in Lady’s Island, it is your responsibility to handle all issues and costs relating to tree removal on your property. The tenant bears no responsibility and is not liable for any of the associated costs. All trees and landscaping on the property are the sole responsibility of the property owner.
If you’re a neighbor?
If a healthy tree belonging to your neighbor falls onto your property during an “Act of God,” your neighbor cannot be held liable. Instead, your insurance provider will process the claim for damages under your Homeowner’s policy. Similarly, if your tree falls on a neighbor’s property, their insurance provider will cover damages.
Keep in mind that if you have a tree on your property that was already dead or neglected in any way and it damages a neighbor’s property, you could be held accountable.
Under South Carolina criminal statute Section 16-11-520, “It is unlawful for a person to willfully and maliciously cut, mutilate, deface, or otherwise injure a tree” on the property of another.
How Does the Soil Affect Trees in Lady’s Island?
The soil in Beaufort County consists of sand and clay originating from the Appalachian Mountains. Almost all of Lady’s Island is situated approximately 20 feet above sea level.
Sandy to loamy soils with a highly acidic nature is the predominant composition in this region. There are four soil series, including Wando, which is a well-drained, dark brown fine sand. The Coosaw and Seabrook are moderately drained, while the Williman series found in the western tract of the region is poorly drained. The grey-loamy sand remains wet most of the year.
For healthy soil, it is sometimes necessary to adjust the pH level so that organic matter has a healthy environment to thrive. In certain circumstances, excessive leaching runoff depletes the nutrient-rich nitrogen over time.
Soils that become depleted of essential nutrients start to erode, and the roots may begin to encroach on sidewalks, yards, and driveways. The birch, elm, and red maple are especially notorious for shallow root growth.
Does Weather Affect Tree Health in Lady’s Island?
Located along the Atlantic Coastal Plain in the southeastern part of South Carolina, the climate is mild compared to other states’ regions. Known as the Lowcountry, the subtropical weather pattern is affected by the maritime location. Mild winter temperatures follow long, hot summers. Annual precipitation averages 49 inches in Lady’s Island.
The abundance of warm, moist air produces approximately 54 thunderstorms a year, with some being severe enough to damage trees. July through October is the tropical storm season, often bringing winds exceeding 50 mph. However, full force hurricanes are rare, with the last one hitting Beaufort in 1959.
High winds can wreak havoc on trees susceptible to losing limbs and possibly falling during severe weather. Tree debris that remains after a storm is the responsibility of the homeowner. The power company is focused on restoring power and will not assist with tree limb clean-up following a storm.
While frost is common in Lady’s Island during the cold winter months, it does not cause severe harm to the hardy trees of the region. The mighty live oak tree can survive the low country’s winter temperatures while maintaining its rich green color.
What if Dead Trees Are Near Power Lines in Lady’s Island?
Dominion Energy oversees the management of all trees and landscaping surrounding power lines in Lady’s Island. They regularly trim trees adjacent to the public rights of way to ensure safe, quick access for crews. All neighborhoods in Lady’s Island are on a four-year cycle for tree trimming from the power company.
The trained technicians adhere to all American National Standard for Tree Care Operations (ANSI A300) guidelines and follow the instruction of arborists for all tree trimming operations.
Suppose a dead tree needs to be removed because it poses a significant threat to power lines. In that case, Dominion Energy will disconnect the service line to allow us safe access to the tree for removal.
Residents should immediately contact Dominion Energy at 800-251-7234 to report a fallen tree touching a power line. NEVER attempt to move the tree on your own. Dominion tree experts explain, “Serious injury or death can occur if energized lines are touched or if an object is touched that is in contact with a line.”
How Much Does Tree Removal Usually Cost in Lady’s Island?
Tree removal in Lady’s Island varies depending on several cost factors. However, the average cost is approximately $725, below the national average of $875. Most jobs fall between $150 and $2,000.
Size of the Tree
The size of the tree is the main factor when considering the cost of tree removal in Lady’s Island. While not exact prices, the costs below will give you an idea of what it will cost to remove a tree on Lady’s Island.
- Small Tree: 12′ to 15′ tall (6″ trunk diameter) – $275 to $450
- Medium Tree: 20′ to 60′ tall (8″ – 12″ trunk diameter) – $700 to $1,050
- Large Tree: 60′ or more (25″ – 40″ trunk diameter) – $1,200 to $2,200+
Location and Access
A tree located in the middle of your yard, with no impeding structures or obstacles, is the easiest to remove and will cost the least amount of money to remove.
Trees in areas difficult to access will cost significantly more. In addition, if the tree is situated along a property line, care must be taken to prevent damage to neighboring properties, fences, or outlying structures.
If special equipment such as cranes, bucket lifts, or heavy machinery is needed to remove the tree safely, you will see a significant price increase.
Type of Tree
Oak trees in Lady’s Island are often huge, with a significant root structure that often makes removal difficult. Oak trees also develop a canopy spread that greatly increases their volume.
The Magnolia tree is also challenging to remove because of its extensive root system. The rope-like roots create a tangled web that extends below the soil surface, far exceeding the width of the canopy.