Beaufort arborist works with DOT on tree trimming

Beaufort’s tree expert will work closely with state Department of Transportation crews this month as DOT prepares to trim back trees along roadsides in Beaufort and Port Royal.


Low-hanging oak limbs on James Street in Beaufort.

“The idea,” said Eliza Hill, arborist for the city of Beaufort, “is to identify significant trees that may be affected so that we can improve traffic safety and protect the health of the urban forest. Our trees, especially our oaks, are an essential part of our Lowcountry look, history and ecology.”

Her work to review the DOT route and trees to be trimmed began Tuesday. The DOT trimming crews could begin their work next week, starting in Port Royal. The limb-cutting isn’t related to pruning over utility lines.

Department of Transportation standards call for 18-foot clearances over roadways. Trees identified as “significant” may have limbs below 18-feet but not below 14-feet. Any limb 14-feet or closer to the road must be removed, Hill said. For example, traditional partial canopies such as over parts of Ribaut Road in Beaufort will be protected as much as possible.

In an effort to protect the valued trees in Beaufort and Port Royal, Hill said she and Beaufort Public Works staff may preemptively prune some trees prior to the DOT’s work.

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