Our Trees

Our trees define Beaufort in so many ways....Our County and City continue to improve tree protection...and we would like to see if there are additional means of protection for these stately giants.

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On Trees...Michael Murphy

The Lady’s Island Community Preservation Committee has asked Mr. Michael Murphy, Board Certified Master Arborist along with Juliana Smith of the SC Coastal Conservation League to analyze existing Tree ordinances with the idea that we might find ways to improve the outcome for trees on Lady’s Island.

Here are Michael’s Notes….more info will follow….

Lady’s Island Community Preservation Committee  January13, 2020 Presentation Outline    

There are 4 Land Management Ordinances here in Beaufort County: HHI, Port Royal, City of Beaufort and Beaufort County. They are dynamic documents that can and have been periodically amended and strengthened.

My hope is that some of these ideas can help in an advisory capacity for implementation into future Lady’s Island Development projects.

We need to create workable regulations but also consider regulations that will attract environmentally sensitive developers who would readily comply with following higher standards.

Trees are not site obstructions. They are assets whose economic and environmental value uniquely increases with age.

The Tree & Topo is the fundamental platform on which all development is planned off of. If specie and size errors are not corrected early on, the entire development can become flawed.

The Beaufort County Ordinance has few “Easter Eggs” that we would like to see utilized more regularly.     

Utilities usually have a blanket exemption from the requirements, but there is a section that provides for an arborist review.  

Also, there is a “Preservation Priority” and avenue for design alternatives which can help us hold the Utilities to a higher Standard

Monitoring & enforcement need enhancement. Without stricter monitoring and enforcement, the tree protection can become worn down and trees can disappear.

The City of Beaufort has developed a systematic arborist report to encourage the preservation of healthy trees while weeding out hazard trees.

This encourages good development by diminishing mitigation for the removal of the bad trees.

The developer has in hand a package of strategic information which details the tree preservation process.

The report format assesses trees into 4 different categories using standardized terminology specific to tree risk assessment.


Using data selected from Beaufort County ordinances, we would like to establish “The Lady’s Island Standard” to be used for in an advisory capacity for implementation into future Lady’s Island Development projects. 

Arborist report assessment and verification in pre-planning stages is essential for efficient site development.

Enhanced monitoring during periodic building inspections to include tree protection and tree retention.

Increased emphasis on incentives for preserving Grand & Specimen trees like stormwater credits. 

Setting high standards will attract environmentally sensitive developers.







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