ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Dominion Energy is planning to cut down nearly 100 Palmetto Trees on the Isle of Palms saying the trees either interfere with power lines or create a fire hazard.

Dominion Energy plans to remove 97 trees on the Isle of Palms beginning in May. Most IOP residents will only be losing one or two trees but one resident says he’s going to lose 14 Palmetto Trees.

“But overall it’s super frustrating to be in this situation and I hate to see these things get cut down because they are awesome,” says IOP resident John Wagner.

“There are people who are very disappointed of course, whether this was called the Isle of Palms or not I think people would still be disappointed because it’s the state tree,” said another IOP resident.

Isle of Palms resident John Wagner says losing the 14 trees changes the makeup of his property.

“That’s super frustrating I mean partly because it’s a great barrier for a busier road in front of my house so I rely on that,” says Wagner.

Wagner says he’s disappointed to have the trees cut down but understands why Dominion Energy is doing the work.

“And I realize some of the trees are in situations where they are particularly close to the lines and that’s an issue of course but I just wish they didn’t have to take so many down,” says Wagner.

Wagner says in the future he hopes find alternative ways around the problem.

“I would hope in the future that there would be a little more discussion about it instead of just me being told this is how it is,” says Wagner.

Like Wagner, another resident said he found out he was losing two of his palm trees when saw them marked with a white x.

Ironically I literally just replaced it and replanted that tree about, within the last six months so I’m going to be out that money,” says an IOP resident.

Dominion Energy Public Affairs Specialist Paul Fischer says the tree removal is a part of it’s five-year tree trimming cycle on the Isle of Palms.

“Following our routine five-year trimming cycle on the Isle of Palms, Dominion Energy South Carolina arborists identified a list of palmetto trees designated for removal due to their proximity to overhead power lines.  This list includes trees that pose an immediate risk to the safety and reliability of our system.  Trees within close proximity to energized lines are both a fire hazard and an issue of public safety. Trees and tree limbs continue to be the number one reason for power outages across our system, and the safety and reliability of our system remains our primary focus. Trees that exceed a maximum height of approximately 15 feet are not suitable for planting along rights-of-way or near overhead power lines. We continue to work collaboratively with our municipal partners on the Isle of Palms to ensure our mutual goals of public safety and reliability for the community. We appreciate the understanding of both the town and the residents as we move forward to complete this critical work prior to the start of the 2020 hurricane season.”

Dominion Energy Public Affairs Specialist Paul Fischer on Isle of Palms Tree Removal

According to a post on the Isle of Palms City website, Dominion Energy has hired Lewis trees to take the trees down. Dominion energy estimates the work will take 4 weeks weather permitting.