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For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
CALIPER. The diameter of a tree, measured six inches above the ground for trees up to four inches, and 12 inches above the ground for those larger than four inches. This measurement is commonly associated with proposed, bought, or newly planted trees.
CANOPY TREE. A woody perennial typically capable of achieving heights exceeding 30 feet at maturity.
CONIFER. A tree that produces cones. Typically an evergreen species although some deciduous species exist.
DAMAGE or ABUSE (to vegetation). Any intentional or negligent act that endangers survivability of a tree or other plant material, including but not limited to, such damage inflicted upon the root system of a tree by application of toxic substances, the operation of machinery, the change of natural grade by excavation or filling above the root system or around the trunk of a tree, pruning, damages from injury or fire inflicted on trees that result in or permit pest infestation, or actual cutting of the tree.
DANGER TREE. A live, dead, or structurally compromised tree that could endanger or interfere with an existing aerial power line. This is linked to federal regulations pertaining to transmission power lines, generally equal to or exceeding 100 kV.
DIAMETER BREAST HEIGHT (DBH). The diameter of a tree, measured at breast height (4.5 feet) above the ground. If a tree trunk splits at ground level and does not share a common base, each trunk shall be measured as a separate tree. If a multi-trunk tree splits below the 4.5 foot mark, all trunks six inches or larger in diameter at 4.5 feet shall be measured separately and count as one tree.
DRIP LINE. An imaginary vertical line that extends downward from the outermost branches of a tree to the ground.
EVERGREEN. A plant that keeps its leaves or needles year round for more than one growing season.
HISTORIC TREE. Any tree with diameter breast height (DBH) of 24 inches or larger, with the following exceptions:
(1) Exempt trees, as provided herein, and
(2) For the purpose only of requiring a variance for removal of historic trees or historic tree replacement requirements, non-exempt tree species (with the exception of live oak trees) containing three or more separate trunks shall be considered a significant tree, subject to the applicable removal and replacement requirements of significant trees. Live Oak tree species with a DBH of 24 inches or larger are considered HISTORIC TREES under all circumstances.
INVASIVE EXOTIC. A non-native plant that regularly reproduces in our area and outcompetes native species. These are vectors for exotic diseases and pests harmful to native species.
PROTECTED TREE. Any tree with a diameter breast height (DBH) of eight inches or greater, and any smaller trees protected through special zones or buffers or as a condition of approval by any of the town’s boards or commissions.
PROTECTIVE BARRICADE. A physical structure not less than four feet in height, limiting access to protected, significant and historic trees. A suitable protective barrier shall be composed of wood or other durable material that ensures protection of protected trees and significant trees during development.
PUBLIC TREE. A tree that grows on town-owned property within the street right-of-way, parks, public facilities and all other town-maintained properties.
REPLACEMENT TREE. Any tree that is planted in order to replace an existing tree that must be removed. Replacement trees must have a minimum size of four inches in caliper and be 16 to 18 feet in height. Multi-trunk trees must have a minimum size of 12 to 14 feet in height with at least two leaders, each measuring at least two inches caliper.
SHRUB. Typically a woody perennial that does not achieve tree proportions at maturity. Where referenced for requirements, some herbaceous species such as ornamental grasses have been counted to fulfill this requirement where they may provide a similar screening purpose.
SIGNIFICANT TREE. Any tree with a diameter breast height (DBH) of 16 inches or larger.
TREE. Any living, self-supporting, woody perennial plant, usually having one dominant trunk and a mature height greater than 16 feet.
TREE ASSESSMENT. Information on a site plan that confirms tree species from the survey critical to the application of this subchapter, grades the conditions of trees to aid in retaining quality trees, identifies invasive exotic species on site for removal, confirms the tree survey is complete, identifies any unique features of trees such as leans or lower canopy heights, identifies trees just off site that may require design considerations, and ultimately makes the designer more aware of the site and its character. This analysis shall be performed by either a certified arborist or registered South Carolina landscape architect, and submitted with all development submittals.
TREE REPLACEMENT SCHEDULE. A plan showing the location, species and sizes of all replacement trees; and a table listing removed applicable protected, significant, and historical trees, as noted in this section, with total replacement caliper inches required.
TREE SURVEY. Survey completed by a registered land surveyor showing the location, size, and species of all protected trees, including the tree protection zone. These shall be required to be no more than a year old for any formal submittals.
UNDERSTORY TREE. A woody perennial with a smaller size at maturity than canopy species, typically with a size between 16 feet and 30 feet at maturity.
(Ord. 00018, passed 4-11-00; Am. Ord. 00052, passed 9-12-00; Am. Ord. 02024, passed 6-11-02; Am. Ord. 05003, passed 2-8-05; Am. Ord. 11008, passed 2-8-11; Am. Ord. 11032, passed 5-10-11; Am. Ord. 14047, passed 8-12-14; Am. Ord. 18076, passed 11-13-18)