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The Town of Mount Pleasant protects certain size and species of tree, and removal of these trees require a permit. Section 156.220 of the Town's Code of Ordinances outlines the importance of preserving the natural landscape through the protection of existing trees. The intent is to encourage the protection and replacement of trees consistent with the economic and healthful enjoyment of private property.  It is not punitive, or meant to cause hardship to any individual, private firm, or public agency that uses every care and diligence to protect trees within the Town. The purpose of protection of existing trees is to:

  • lessen air pollution; 
  • increase dust filtration; 
  • reduce noise, heat and glare; 
  • prevent soil erosion; 
  • improve surface drainage and minimize flooding;
  • ensure that noise, glare and other distractions of movement in one area do not adversely affect activity within other adjacent areas; 
  • beautify and enhance improved and undeveloped land; 
  • preserve and protect both the natural and historic amenities within the town; 
  • ensure that excessive tree cutting does not reduce property values; 
  • to minimize the cost of construction and maintenance of drainage systems necessitated by the increased flow and diversion of surface water

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The Town of Mount Pleasant has been a proud recipient of the Tree City USA designation since 1989.  

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Do I need a permit to remove a tree in my yard?

Any trees on residential lots 16 inches or greater in diameter when measuring 4 1/2 feet from the ground (except for Pine species, Sweet Gum, Callary Pear varieties, River Birch, Mimosa, Chinaberry, Chinese Tallow, Camphor tree, White Poplar, Mulberry and Leyland Cypress) are protected and need approval before being removed.  Trees located within special buffer areas, critical areas, easements, or rights-of-way may be protected regardless of size or species. 

Tree removal requests due to tree decline or damage can be submitted online through our website by filling out a tree removal request.  

Tree removal in conjunction with any type of construction (new home, addition, renovation, pool, etc) is reviewed in conjunction with the building permit approval process. You can submit a building permit application online through our website at  Residential trees that are exempt from a permit, may still require tree protection zones on site plans per § 156.225.

I have a tree on my property that is not in good condition, will the Town evaluate the tree?

No, Town staff is not able to provide consultations or evaluations for trees.  If you wish the tree to be removed and it is a protected species and size, a request can be made online through our website to request the removal.  

What is a critical line and critical line buffer?

A critical line delineates the boundaries of coastal waters, tidelands, and beach systems. A critical line buffer is a vegetated area, including trees, shrubs and herbaceous vegetation, which exists or is established to protect a stream system, lake, reservoir or coastal estuarine area to minimize the potentially harmful effects of development or agriculture on adjacent waterways and prevent non-point source pollution.  

Whom do I contact if there is a tree in the right-of-way that needs to be trimmed?
Low-lying tree limbs in the right-of-way should be reported to the 
Public Services Department.