County of Lexington replacing trees on South Lake Drive

May 20, 2016

The County of Lexington will begin the process of replacing 16 trees along South Lake Drive on Saturday, May 21, in an effort to provide required clearance for overhead utility lines.

The existing trees – which include Lacebark Elms, Japanese Zelkova and Live Oaks – were planted 15 years ago to meet the Town of Lexington’s landscape requirements.

In order to provide adequate clearance for the overhead utility lines, anywhere from one-third to one-half of the existing trees’ canopies would need to be removed. This clearance is necessary to facilitate safe work environments for SCE&G utility crews and to maintain reliable service for SCE&G customers.

The severity of such pruning would have a negative long-term impact on the trees’ overall health, structure and aesthetics.

The trees being considered to replace the existing trees include Chaste-trees, American Fringetrees and Emerald Arborvitaes. Each of these trees will grow to a maximum height of 15 feet and are drought tolerant. The Chaste-tree produces a lavender-colored bloom in the summer, while the American Fringetree produces a white-colored bloom in early- to mid-spring. The Emerald Arborvitae is an evergreen.

Asplundh, a SCE&G contractor, will carry out the tree-removal process, dispose of the debris and provide an herbicide treatment to the minimal remaining stumps. The trees that are removed will be chipped.

All new tree plantings will be handled by County staff later in the fall or in early winter, during the appropriate planting time for trees.