Tree Removal

The Town has adopted regulations to preserve, protect and promote our natural resources on the island.

  • The regulations apply to trees, vegetation, wetlands, dunes and beaches.
  • Different regulations apply depending on the proposed activity and location.

It is always best to contact our Community Development Information Center at 843-341-4757 for guidance prior to starting a project.

When Do You Need a Natural Resource Permit to Remove a Tree?

When a Natural Resource Permit is Not Required

A Natural Resource permit is not required to remove a tree when the tree is on a single family lot that does not have any recorded Town Buffers on the lot.

  • Typically single family lots within a Planned Unit Development District (LMO Sec 16-3-105.K and definitions section) do not have a town buffer, but always check with your POA prior to cutting any trees.

Single Family lots within overlay district buffers such as Folly Field neighborhood, Forest Beach district, Holiday Homes, (LMO Sec 16-3-106.H-J) have protected buffers and do require a Natural Resource Permit prior to cutting down trees.

Tree Removal Process

Submit a Natural Resource Permit Application

Before a tree is removed, the owner must submit a Natural Resources Permit Application to the Town.

  • The property owner or applicant must include information describing the tree species, size (diameter), location, a reason for removal and any proposed mitigation.
  • Flag the tree(s) for easy identification.
  • In addition to Town approval, Property Owners Association or a private Architectural Review Board approval may be necessary for properties inside various communities.

Natural Resources Permit Application

Depending on the extent of the project, the following items may be required:

  • Tree Survey
  • Narrative of proposed plans, including proposed tree protection and mitigation (replanting)
  • Site development plan showing utility lines, grading, and building elevations in relation to existing trees (identify trees to be removed with an X)
  • Replacement tree planting schedule
  • Photos of trees proposed to be removed

Special Requirements for Specimen Trees

Specimen trees are trees that have been identified as an outstanding representative of its species in size and have special requirements.

  • If a specimen tree is not determined to be hazardous trees, it may not be removed without a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Any development activity in close proximity of the tree must be reviewed by the Town prior to the activity.
  • The requirements vary depending on the use of the property (commercial or residential) as well as location of the tree (along the water, within a street buffer, etc).

View the List of Specimen Trees


Contact the Community Development Information Center at or 843-341-4757