DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Charleston and Dominion Energy are working together to address a public safety concern on the peninsula. Approximately 175 palmetto trees have been identified as hazards and will be removed.
The trees have grown too close or become intertwined with power lines around the city.
“Trees or tree limbs that have grown too close to power lines are both a fire hazard and an issue of public safety,” said Paul Fischer, a senior communications specialist for Dominion Energy of South Carolina.
Fischer says trees and tree limbs are the number one cause of power outages. Removing these palm trees will help keep energy flowing safely. Work to remove the hazardous trees is expected to begin this week and will last six to eight weeks.
Once Dominion Energy has removed the palm trees, the City of Charleston will re-plant different trees in the same or nearby locations to keep the city green.
While replacement palm trees will be selective, several other types of trees are on the list of possibilities for the city to plant.
“They might be smaller variety’s of crepe myrtles, there’s a number of different holly’s, or small magnolias,” said Jason Kronsberg, the Director of Parks for the City of Charleston.
He says these types of trees are smaller and will not pose the same risks to the city’s power grid as the, taller, palm trees currently do.
“Over the next two or three planting cycles, we’ll try to get a lot of them refilled,” said Kronsberg.
A planting cycle in Charleston is between October and March.
“These are times when the trees are mostly dormant, don’t need a lot of water, and they have time to get established prior to the heat of summer,” explained Kronsberg.
The Parks Department is encouraging Charleston residents to participate in their Street Tree Program to help beautify the city.
“Any resident that has either an open tree well in front of their house or a sidewalk that’s wide enough to plant a tree can call us and participate in our Street Tree Planting Program.”
More information on the program can be found here.