SCEG to start utility pruning May 15

02 May SCEG to start utility pruning May 15

This is a tough time for those of us who love trees and the importance they play in Beaufort which holds the honor of being designated a Tree City for our efforts to protect trees we control.  At the same time trees in the utility right-of-way belong to the utility and they have a responsibility to keep their lines safe from storms, for their workers who repair them during and after storms and for the general public safety.  Several years ago we tried to stop what appeared to be the butchering of trees in Beaufort. As far as we got was the concession to have our arborist supervise but the supervision has more to do with the preservation and continued health of the trees and not the aesthetics.

Several years ago our Parks and Tree Commission explored the costs of under grounding this important infrastructure, but the costs are just prohibitive costing tens of million of dollars we do not have.  Instead our approach is incremental required utilities to be buried in new subdivisions when we renovate major corridors like Boundary Street where the bulk of the work and expense is under grounding utilities.

Announcement about pruning from City Landscape Architect:

Just wanted to let you know that SCEG will start utility pruning on or about May 15th.  Affected neighborhoods are Mossy oaks north of Hermitage Rd., West End, Dixon Village and Northwest Quadrant north of Duke St., Old Commons north of Greene St. and all of Pigeon Point and Higgonsonville neighborhoods.  Notifications will be mailed to residents on 5/6/16.  Training seminar for Lewis Tree staff will occur, per City/SCEG agreement, prior to start of work.

On behalf of SCEG, I have asked the residents of Pigeon Point and Higgonsonville if they are interested in a demonstration pruning prior to start of work.  Have not heard back and nothing has been scheduled at this time but I will continue to see if there is an interest.

Eliza C. Hill

City Landscape Architect

Department of Planning and Development Services