SCDOT, Dominion Energy and Town of Sullivan’s Island work together on Sullivan’s Island palmettos

June 24, 2024

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, Dominion Energy and the Town of Sullivan’s Island announced that through a collaborative effort, the 2024 project to ensure utility safety and reliability on Sullivan’s Island will no longer include the removal of more than 500 palmetto trees.

After further consideration and with support from SCDOT and the Town of Sullivan’s Island, Dominion Energy has agreed to a new plan that reduces the initial cutting by 269 trees. In addition, SCDOT and Dominion Energy will each contribute to a local non-profit to support the replanting of new palmetto trees and other species on the island.

Nine of the trees that have been classified as historic palmettos will be relocated around Fort Moultrie.

The Town, SCDOT and Dominion Energy will continue to work collaboratively on future efforts to pursue utility safety and reliability. Dominion Energy encourages property owners to be considerate of utility lines when planting, helping ensure the right trees are in the right place for safe and efficient utility service. Trees that exceed a maximum height of approximately 15 feet are not suitable for planting near overhead lines.

Secretary of Transportation Justin P. Powell said, “The Palmetto Tree is the State’s tree. It is a symbol of our pride in our community and an iconic representation of what it means to be a South Carolinian. I’m proud of the work our SCDOT employees did to help navigate the safety issue at hand while ensuring we preserved as many of these historic trees as possible.”

Mayor of Sullivan’s Island Patrick M. O’Neil said, “Sullivan’s Island is where, in 1776, the palmetto earned its place on our flag and in our hearts, so this is a very positive resolution for the Island and the State. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Secretary Powell and the SCDOT team for their leadership in achieving it, and we thank Dominion Energy for their engagement and collaboration.”

Work to remove the trees in the right-of-way will resume in early July 2024.



The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is the state agency with oversight of South Carolina’s network of highways and bridges, including responsibilities such as planning, design, construction, financing, and roadway safety. To ensure the nation’s fourth-largest highway system is prepared to serve the needs of South Carolina’s growing economy and population, SCDOT has developed a Strategic 10-Year Plan that addresses improvements to the state’s highway and bridge systems. Learn more at