The Forestry and Beautification Department is responsible for maintaining a healthy tree canopy and for installing and maintaining gateways and landscape projects on public property.
2012 Columbia Choice Awards Winners!
Columbia is a Tree City USA!
Because of the efforts of the Department, the City of Columbia has been recognized as a Tree City USA every year since 1979. This award is given to municipalities that have an effective tree-care program as an ongoing process of renewal and improvement. Another requirement of the award is for cities to have a program of planting and care that goes on throughout the years. The prestigious award is given to approximately twenty municipalities in the state each year. Landscape Ordinance
Treasured Trees Program- Click to see the 2012 Winners!
Community Partnerships and Programs
Columbia Choice Awards 2012
Each year Columbia Green and the Columbia Tree & Appearance Commission recognize businesses, schools, individuals, neighborhoods, and developers whose work has significanty enhanced the appearance and quality of life of our Columbia environment by awarding the Columbia Choice Awards.
New Construction/Site Development -
Recognizes new construction and site development projects that exemplify development excellence. Selection criteria include suitability for and enhancement of surrounding area; overall appearance and design; quality of landscaping; creative site planning; and innovative treatment of signage, utilities and infrastructure.
No winner this year.
Recognizes excellence in restoration, renovation or adaptive reuse of an existing property. Selection criteria include creativity of use of existing site; adaptation to current building codes and standards; quality of landscape design; and innovative treatment of signage, utilities and infrastructure.
USC Farmer's Market Site Redevelopment
USC's new parking and tailgate complex at the old Farmer's Market site on Bluff Road opened in August 2012, completing a major transformation at this site. This 53 acre brownfield was rehabilitated into a new landmark for USC Athletics and the community at large. The project involved numerous initiatives towards sustainable construction as well as aesthetic improvements. The existing site was largely impervious with several environmental issues. A number of underground storage tanks and asbestos in existing buildings was removed. Other items were relocated, recycled, or repurposed. Stormwater run-off has been reduced by approximately 90% over the previous condition, with around 80% of the site becoming pervious. Bio-retention cells are located throughout the site to slow runoff and filter sediments and pollutants. Well-fed irrigation reduces the use of potable water. Over 900 trees of varying species were planted. A new product, Silva Cells, was used beneath hardscape surfaces to increase the uncompacted root zone for large shade trees along Bluff Road. Overhead powerlines along Bluff Road were buried in an underground duct bank. In the new buildings, solar light wells increase daylighting, and hand dryers replaced paper towels. The buildings energy use can be monitored and reduced when not in use. This attractive space can be used for game day activities, but the front of the property was designed as a flexible-use urban green space, contributing to a revitalized corridor along Bluff Road. Gamecock Village and the Amphitheater areas were intended for use on non-game days as public gathering areas for special events.
Site Beautification Management -
Recognizes property that has, over time and in all seasons, demonstrated a commitment to excellence in maintenance, landscape design, consistency of visual appeal and enhancement of our surroundings.
Columbia International University
Columbia International University is home to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, as well as Ben Lippin School (K-12) and WMHK radio station. The grounds department takes a great deal of pride in creating a safe and beautiful campus. The grounds have been upgraded to include new soccer fields, an outdoor kitchen, a pergola, vines, shrubs, trees, sod, ornamental grasses, and annuals in key areas of the campus.
Education - Recognizes any individual, school or organization which promotes attention to our urban environment, its beautification, maintenance and preservation. Selection criteria include overall visual enhancement, educational value, and/or heightened awareness of the environment.
Heathwood Hall Episcopal Xeric Garden
Urban landscapes have inpervious surfaces that have created conditions that are more xeric. Plant selections must be made to in such a way that thermal updraft and other non-desirable growing condtions can be tolerated. During the 2010-2011 school year, the 5th grade class planted a Xeric Garden with funds from a Columbia Green grant. When planting was done, large holes were made, roots loosened, and watering was done heavily for three weeks. Watering has not occurred in theis garden since June! Soil was not amended, but the site was heavily mulched and allowed to break down naturally. Xeric garden plants that were used included: Chasmanthium latifolium, Erythrina x bidwillii, Ilex vomitoria 'Taylor''s Rudolph', Opuntia humifusa, Sabal minor, Serenoa repens, Stokesia laevis, Viburnum obovatum, Muhlenbergia capillaries, Amsonia burichtii, and Hypericum kalmianum 'Blue Velvet'.
Neighborhood/Community- Recognizes a civic, community or neighborhood organization whose effort has significantly added to the quality of life and beautification of a portion of Columbia. Selection criteria include overall visual effect, community participation, and perceived quality of life enhancement.
St. Peter's Catholic Church
The St. Peter's Church grounds have been totally redesigned and restored as a culminationof a five year project that began with construction of the new Bernardin Center on Taylor & Assembly Streets. The newly completed gardens feature an interior courtyard garden, a restored fountain garden along Assembly Street, new plantings along Taylor Street, a beautiful garden at the parking lot, and new plantings in the St. Peter's Cemetery one of Columbia's most historical burial sites. Design and implementation of the gardenswereaccomplished by Msgr. Leigh Lehocky, Pastor and Mr. Steve Holtschlag, retired CEO of Consolidated Systems. They Assembly Street fountain garden is enjoyed daily by passers-by. The large Italian fountain has been restored, the irrigation and piping renovated, and the garden planted with vegetation that is beautiful from the street as well as people using the church entrances. The new planting includes dogwoods, encore azaleas, crape myrtles, palmetto trees, daffodils, poinsettias, and Easter lilies.
Special Achievement Award - Recognizes a government agency, community interest group, civic organization, business or individual who has made a significant contribution to the appearance of our community and to the overall quality of life in the City of Columbia.
Dr. DeCoursey is internationally recognized for her work in biological rhythms, several respected books, and is the recipient of many academic awards. In spite of her demanding research and teaching schedule, however, she dedicated herself to enhancing the natural environment and civic life of Columbia through various ongoing preservation, maintenance and education activities.
One of the activists who worked to create what is now the Congaree National Park, in 2006 she spearheaded the restoration of the Belser property, land that had been deeded to USC in 1959 and an undisturbed forest tract within the City of Columbia. When she assumed responsibility for this daunting project the property was an unusable eyesore, in terrible condition, and overtaken with invasive plants. Erosion was a major problem. In the last six years Dr. DeCoursey has dedicated much of her time to turning the Belser Arboretum into a valuable resource for the residents of the Midlands. It is used for research and teaching by the University as well as teachers and students in K-12. But more importantly, it is there for all residents to use for relaxation, learning and contemplation.
Although the Arboretum received a Columbia Choice Award for Special Achievement in 2009, Dr. DeCoursey‘s work there and her many other activities to promote general knowledge of our natural environment and enhance other locations in our city have been less acknowledged. As Guy Sabin, SC Forestry Commission environmental manager, has said, "Dr. DeCoursey really stands apart for her leadership and organizing the work of many, many others."
In addition to the time consuming work in assuring that the Arboretum is an attractive addition to its Columbia neighborhood, Dr. DeCoursey has taken on several projects to enhance the public areas of the University campus for the enjoyment of students and the general public. She designed and carried out the landscaping of the Sumter Street side of the Coker Life Sciences Building making it an attractive and restful location near the heart of the busy campus.
Dr. DeCoursey also undertook the design and installation of the ODK Memorial Garden honoring this academic organization. Located in the plaza between the Horseshoe and the Currel Building, its plantings of flowering shrubs and grasses surround a sundial. It is a quiet corner for contemplation and rest as well as a favorite spot for photographers. Dr. DeCoursey, as she often has, turned great sorrow, the loss of her husband and son, into a thing of beauty for others.
As a teacher and researcher, Dr. DeCoursey is committed to the educational impact of her community work. The Belser Arboretum not only serves as an auxiliary teaching facility for her students and many environmental classes at the University, but also hosts dozens of programs and activities for all of the residents of the Midlands. She has promoted the building of outdoor classrooms and the mile long trail with self-guiding signs as well as other instructive habitat exhibits. As Dr. Sarah Woodin, Carolina Distinguished Professor of the Department of Biological Sciences says, "Dr. DeCoursey has given a great gift to both USC and Columbia. The Arboretum itself and its outdoor facilities are now used by a variety of classes from ecology to religious study to geography to English."
Other important educational initiatives undertaken by Dr. DeCoursey include the Midlands Master Naturalist intern program. Started by her in 2012, it provides instruction and promotes and understanding of the interrelated nature of our native habitats and appreciation for biodiversity.
Dr. DeCoursey has given our community far more than the enhancement of our physical environment. An inspirational leader, she has encouraged so many of us to stop, appreciate and rejoice in our place within their natural environment. She has pointed out that our wellbeing , and that of those who follow us, is intimately connected to everything that surrounds us and that we have a responsibility to preserve, maintain and enhance the legacy of nature we have been given. Her passion for making Columbia a place where nature matters is a lesson in how much of value each of us can accomplish and give back to our communities.
Past Columbia Choice Awards Winners
New Construction/Site Development
Five Points Plaza (2001); Municipal Association SC Headquarters (2003); Cox & Dinkins, Inc. (2004); USC Sumter Street Streetscaping (2005); Palmetto Health Heart Hospital (2006); Serenity Garden at the South Carolina Oncology Center (2007); Hilton Hotel Columbia Center (2008); CanalSide Streetscape and Parks (2009); Alcorn Middle School (2010); St. Joseph Catholic Church Rose Garden (2011)
South Carolina State House Grounds (2001); Dunbar Funeral Home's Devine Street Chapel (2003); First Presbyterian Church Thornwell Education Building (2004); DiPrato's Delicatessen (2005); USC Wheat Street Streetscaping (2007); Beckham Garden, St. Timothy's Episcopal Church (2008); UCI Medical Affiliates (2009); Carolina Fair Park (2009); Abacus Planning Group; Inn at USC (2011)
Bank of America Plaza (2001); The Church of the Good Shepherd (2003); Jake's Bar & Grill (2003); Columbia College (2005); National Advocacy Center (2006); Palmetto Baptist Hospital (2007); King's Grant Subdivision Entrance Way and Median Renovation (2008); Continental American Insurance Co. (2009); First Citizens Bank (2010); Riverbanks Zoo & Park Wildlife Pkwy. Entrance (2011)
USC West Quad Living and Learning Center (2005); South Carolina Governor's Mansion (2006); Historic Columbia Foundation's Seibels House Garden (2007); Heathwood Hall Middle School Native Garden (2008); Richland County School District One (2009); USC Bioswale (2010); Heathwood Hall Native American Medicine Wheel Garden (2011)
Hollywood Park & Garden (2001); College Parkway (2003); Cottontown Neighborhood (2004); Columbia College (2006); Arbor Hill Development (2007); Columbia Housing Authority's Celia Saxon Development (2007); Luthern Theological Southern University (2008); City Center Partnership (2010); Melrose Park (2011)
The Preserve Subdivision (2004); USC Le Conte Gibbes Garden (2005); First Citizen Bank Headquarters (2006); Grounds of the South Carolina State House (2007); USC Belser Arboretum (2009); City Roots (2010) tied with Pat Setzer (2010); Robert Mills House and Garden (2011)
About Our Division
Forestry personnel are responsible for maintaining over 46,000 trees located on road right-of-ways throughout the city. The city's tree population is worth over $75 million. Trees located on the road right-of-way are pruned to remove dead limbs, improve structural integrity of the trees, and to provide adequate clearance over streets and sidewalks. Dead and hazardous trees are removed as necessary. The Department employs certified arborists who are responsible for providing technical assistance to prevent damage to city trees when construction or other work must be conducted on the right-of-way. Forestry crews are also responsible for removing sight hazards such as limbs that block street signs, traffic signals and driveways.
Reforestation Reforestation personnel are responsible for planting trees along street right-of-ways. Trees are planted to replace those which die or have to be removed due to safety hazards. The Department waters newly planted trees during the first two growing seasons after they are planted.
Where there is adequate space for future growth, large maturing shade trees such as oak, blackgum, ginkgo, maple and other species are planted. Where either root or overhead space is limited, smaller ornamental trees are planted. These may include redbud, flowering cherry, holly and other species.
A guide to tree selection, entitled City Trees is available by calling or e-mailing your request.
The Forestry and Beautification Department cuts and maintains grass in medians and right-of-ways along major roadways throughout the city. The gateway entrances are kept cut and trimmed so that all who enter Columbia realize that we are proud of our City. Throughout the year, over 1,000 miles of right-of-way and more than 130 traffic islands are mowed and edged.
Each year Right-of -Way crews mow hundreds of miles of grass in the city.
Keeping sidewalks and other areas free from weeds and debris each year keep citizens free from trip hazards and keep the city looking neat and clean.
It is the responsibility of owners, occupants and lessees to keep private property free of litter and unsightly plant growth, including curbs, gutters, tree zones or other right-of-way adjacent to private property. Owners and occupants of property must keep weeds, grass and all vegetation cleanly cut and provide adequate sight distance at driveways and intersections.
Monthly Horticulture Tasks for Columbia - Check here each month for the current month's tasks.
Our Newest Project has been to install landscaping at the Greystone/I-126 interchange near the entrance to Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens. Riverbanks is South Carolina's number one tourist attraction, and the City of Columbia is working to make this destination an eye-catching landscape area that will be attractive to visitors to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and to commuters coming into Columbia from I-126 East. The landscaping will include Sabal Palmettos, Dwarf Sabal Palms, Chinese Pistache, 'Bengal Tiger' Canna lilies, 'Zhouzhou' Loropetalums, Pineapple Guave, agaves, 'Gold Thread' False Cypress, Indian Hawthorn, 'Karley Rose' Oriental Fountain Grass, elephant ears, 'Foxtrot' Oriental Fountain Grass, American Beautyberry, 'Tall Tails' Giant Fountain Grass, and 'Heavy Metal' Blue Switch Grass. This landscaping was made possible through a grant from Scott's.
The members of the horticulture section landscape city properties and right-of-ways to make Columbia a more desirable place to live, work and play. Employees install new projects and perform the essential maintenance on existing plantings. Currently, efforts are focused on gateways, major roadways and high profile locations. A variety of plants including trees, shrubs, perennials and over 42,000 seasonal flowers are used to provide year round interest. These plantings aid in keeping Columbia 's economy thriving by projecting a positive image.
Horticulture Crews are busily planting cool season annuals on Main Street.
Weeds are a year round foe that crews battle on Rosewood Drive.
Community Partnerships and Programs
- Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission. A group of dedicated citizens appointed by City Council to develop ideas for projects, assist in their implementation and educate citizens through Arbor Day events, press conferences and educational brochures. Oversees Forever Forest , a foundation that accepts donations from individuals and corporations to support Columbia 's reforestation efforts. Partners with Columbia Green in sponsoring the annual Columbia Choice awards.
- Columbia Green. A non-profit organization that raises money exclusively for the beautification of Columbia . Substantial funding is provided to the Department each year for seasonal color. Columbia Green also aids in installation costs of major projects. Partners with the Tree and Appearance Commission to promote the Columbia Choice awards which recognizes individuals, neighborhoods and firms whose work has significantly enhanced Columbia 's environment, both in design and in overall quality of life.
2012 Arbor Day at HB Rhame Elementary with Tim Womick
- Arbor Day. The City of Columbia conducts a special tree planting ceremony to commemorate its annual Arbor Day celebration. The ceremony frequently takes place at an elementary school within City limits on the first Friday of December in conjunction with the Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission, Columbia Green and other partners.
- Neighborhoods. The department will partner with neighborhood associations to facilitate beautification projects. Neighborhoods must provide materials, typically through donations or grants, and assume responsibility for long term maintenance. The Department will provide technical assistance, and limited assistance with installation.
- Forever Forest . The Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission established The Forever Forest Foundation to give individuals and businesses the opportunity to contribute to the beautification of Columbia , while honoring friends and loved ones. Tax-deductible contributions are acknowledged with a letter and certificate, and funds are used for planting trees and other beautification projects.
- Treasured Trees
Requests for Service
Requests for work relating to trees and shrubs in the road right-of-way should be directed to the Forestry & Beautification Department. A work order will be taken and given to the appropriate supervisor. The supervisor will check the site, and then direct a crew to handle the work if it is the city's responsibility or will inform the citizen if the request cannot be accommodated and why. The department is not responsible for maintaining trees and landscaping on private property.
If tree limbs are very close to or touching power lines, citizens will need to call SCE&G at 799-9000 to make the request. City crews cannot perform this work due to line clearance restrictions.
An encroachment permit is required for installation of landscaping and other permanent improvements on the right-of-way. These permits are issued through the Legal Department.
For more information about our services, please contact the Forestry and Beautification Department at 545-3860 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treasured Trees Program- We are now accepting nominations for 2013!
Update: 2012 Winners:
Live Oak, Columbia, SC
Live Oak Quercus virginiana- Originally nominated by Mr. Edward Warren but now owned by James and Jill Holloway, the story of this large-trunked Live Oak is very intriguing. It was planted in 1917 when then home was built. The builder, who had been in Europe during World War I, brought the tree home from France as a seedling in his briefcase and planted the tree in front of where the home was to be constructed. Today, the tree’s massive canopy provides shade to three homes on Shirley Street. The tree’s large canopy and intriguing story certainly make it one of Columbia’s Treasured Trees.
Two Pecans, Rosewood Market, Columbia, SC
Two Pecans, Carya illinoinensis-When Basil Garzia, owner of Rosewood Markey & Deli, purchased the property in the late 1980’s, he chose to preserve the two large Pecan trees that shade his business today. With the help of the National Arbor Day Foundation, he worked with a consultant to develop a plan to protect the trees through construction and help ensure they would survive to shade his business. The deck surrounding the right Pecan tree had to be expanded about 10 years after it was built to allow the tree’s trunk to continue to grow and expand. The tree itself was hit by lightning in June of 2009 and has been carefully monitored by an arborist since then. Although the scar from the lightning is still visible, the tree’s latest report was positive. The left tree provides shade for the parking lot and a cooler respite from our hot summer sun. The trees’ resilience and the efforts made to preserve them make them part of Columbia’s Treasured Trees.
Sand Pine, Columbia, SC
Sand Pine, Pinus clausa, 3905 Hanson Avenue, Columbia, SC-Sand Pine is not a tree type normally heard in this area. According to the tree’s owner, Mr. Guy Taylor, the tree was purchased as a seedling from a nursery in Alabama in the mid-1960’s. It was supposed to be a small tree, but has obviously matured into something much larger. The tree was nominated by Mr. Paul Larrabee, who said he cannot help but to gaze at it whenever he’s in the area. “It puts all the other types of trees in the area to shame,” said Mr. Larrabee. Its age, beauty, splendor, and uniqueness make it one of Columbia’s Treasured Trees.
American Beech, Congaree National Park
American Beech, Fagus grandifolia-Rarely do we find a large specimen American Beech in our area. This tree, nominated by Friends of Congaree Swamp, is located near the boardwalk at Congaree National Park, about 100 yards from the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. The American Beech shelters visitors to the park and is one of the first large trees visitors see in the park. According to Mr. John Grego, at least one marriage has taken place beneath its beautiful canopy. This is certainly one of Columbia’s Treasured Trees.
Loblolly Pine, The W. Gordon Belser Arboretum, Columbia, SC
Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda, -While pines are fairly common throughout the midlands, a Loblolly Pine as magnificent as this one is a rare find. Located in the W. Gordon Belser Arboretum, “The Commander” Loblolly Pine is over eight feet in circumference at chest height and towers an impressive 106.5 feet above this urban forest’s floor. According to Dr. Patricia DeCoursey, of The W. Gordon Belser Arboretum, the tree is thought to be approximately 150 years, based on observations of similarly size pines in the vicinity. Thousands of visitors to the Arboretum have passed beneath its canopy. We are pleased to include “The Commander” in this year’s Treasured Trees.
Persimmon, 2800/2802 Grace St., Columbia,SC
Persimmon Diospyros virginiana, Large persimmon trees are hard to find in an urban forest. This tree, nominated by Ms. Susan Creed and owned by Mr. John McMaster, towers above the landscape surrounding it. Its fruit load in the autumn helps to nourish our wildlife while its branches provide shelter. This splendid specimen is one of Columbia’s Treasured Trees.
Live Oaks, USC Farmer's Market Site, Columbia, SC
Grove of Oaks Quercus virginiana. -The University of South Carolina Athletics Department saved a remarkable group of three Live Oaks when they redeveloped the former Farmer’s Market property. Although the exact age of these trees is not known, their size and alignment suggests they were part of an allee to a long-forgotten residence, even pre-dating the site’s use as a Farmers Market. When they were surveyed in 2008, they measured at 48” and 60” diameter. William Hubbard, member of the USC Board of Trustees and past chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, has been instrumental in tree preservation and new tree planting across the campus, and he made it a priority to plan the new site improvements around these trees. Thanks to his efforts, they create a very special setting at this new landmark site, that is appreciated by Gameday visitors today and as well as generations to come. This group of treasured trees was nominated by Jane Suggs, in honor of William Hubbard’s stewardship role; accepting the award for USC’s Athletic Department is Kappy Hubbard.
Japanese Maple, 1511 Wellington Drive, Columbia, SC
Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum-There are few tree species that can rival a maple’s fall color. Ms. Hillary McDonald’s large Japanese Maple, located at 1511 Wellington Drive, certainly is no exception. Its scarlet fall color is a harbinger of fall and cooler temperatures. There are accounts of the tree’s existence from as far back as the 1940’s, and its size certainly supports the age, being about 20 feet tall and 24 feet wide. It was originally part of a pair of Japanese Maple’s, but this one’s twin was struck by lightning in the mid-1990’s. Seedlings from Ms. McDonald’s tree have been passed along to friends and neighbors, ensuring its beautiful color and form can be cultivated by subsequent generations. This Japanese Maple is certainly one of Columbia’s Treasured Trees.
Saucer Magnolia, Columbia, SC
Saucer Magnolia, Magnolia x soulangiana, 861 Abelia Road-“Japanese Magnolia,” “Saucer Magnolia,” and “Tulip Tree” are just a few of the common names of Magnolia x soulangiana, a beautiful deciduous hybrid magnolia tree. Frank and Katherine Robinson’s tree at 861 Abelia Road is truly beautiful. Nominated by Ms. Susan Carter, the Robinson’s tree has been gracing Abelia Street since at least the early 1970’s and has been guarded by two generations of the Robinson family. The tree’s abundant springtime flowers and long-time contribution to Abelia Road make it a wonderful inclusion to this year’s Treasured Trees.
Southern Magnolia, First Presbyterian Church
According to local legend, the noble Southern Magnolia located in the First Presbyterian Churchyard was planted in honor of George Washington’s “Goodwill Tour” through Columbia in 1791, giving it an age of over 200 years. The tree is around 75 feet tall and has a DBH of 54 inches. The Churchyard is open to the public and this tree provides welcoming shade in Columbia’s busy downtown. We are happy to be able to include this historical gem in Treasured Trees.
Southern Magnolia, Columbia, SC
Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, 1921 Henderson Street-Guarded by at least four generations of the Dozier Family, this Southern Magnolia has provided shade for many people throughout its existence. Its bloom period of over two months easily keeps up with younger trees despite its age. Currently owned by Dr. and Mrs. John Dozier, it continues to be a focal point for this family. The Doziers, who own a local foreign language learning center called “Language Buzz,” frequently hold classes under the tree’s shade in nice weather. The tree was nominated by Ms. Elizabeth Marks, and we hope that future generations of our City will be able to call this tree one of Columbia’s Treasured Trees.
Swamp Chestnut Oak, Columbia, SC
Swamp Chestnut Oak, Quercus michauxii, 1901 Bull Street-Swamp Chestnut Oaks just beginning to become more popular in contemporary landscape design. Finding such a large specimen in urban Columbia is quite a novelty. It was nominated by Ms. Susan Creed and identified by Dr. John Nelson, who speculates it was likely planted because of its location. It is situated in a small parking lot nestled between two businesses in our busy downtown. We are pleased to include this unique tree in this year’s Treasured Trees.
The Treasured Trees program seeks to document and preserve trees that have significant value to the greater community, and promote the awareness, benefit, and value of trees to the community.
Selection Criteria: Trees of superior size or stature, those associated with historical events, trees noteworthy for their aesthetic or sentimental value, their scarcity, or even because they are great trees to climb or from which to swing can be nominated. Groups of trees will also be considered for designation when their plurality contributes to their significance. Nominated trees can be located on public or private property and can be nominated by anyone. Trees should be located in the Greater Columbia/Lexington Metropolitan area, and preference will be given to trees in locations accessible for public viewing. Nominations of trees located on private property require the signature of the property owner granting the Treasured Trees program access to the property in order to examine, measure, and photograph the nominated tree.
The owner/caretaker of each selected tree will receive a certificate or award at a public Arbor Day celebration, and each tree will be publicized through a weekly highlight series and feature article in the The State newspaper.
Nominations are due November 1st. Please provide your name and contact information (address, phone number, and e-mail address if possible) along with a description, location, and photograph of the tree. Remember that you have a whole year in which to photograph your tree, so shoot a picture of the tree at its peak. This could be spring/summer blooms or fall color. If available, include the significance or history related to the tree. Nominations may be delivered or emailed (preferred method) to:
City of Columbia
Forestry and Beautification Division
Treasured Trees Attn: Amy Bledsoe
2910 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC 29203
| Treasured Trees Master List|
|2005 Treasured Trees Winners
||Governor's Mansion, Columbia|
|Big Leaf Magnolia
||Robert Mills House, Columbia|
|Swamp Chestnut Oak
||Wheat Street, Columbia|
||Congaree National Park|
||819 Barnwell Street, Columbia|
||Maxcy Gregg Park, Columbia|
|USC Horseshoe Grove of Trees
||University of South Carolina, Columbia|
|2006 Treasured Trees Winners
||Congaree National Park|
||Salem Church Road & Dreher Shoals Road, Irmo|
|Holly-leaf Tea Olive
||Wheat Street & Congaree Street, Columbia|
||Heatherwood Road, Columbia|
||near Lexington High School, Lexington|
||Kawana Road, Columbia|
|Wetlands, Nature Trail, Pine Thicket
||Lake Murray Elementary School, Richland County|
|2007 Treasured Trees Winners
||4231 Wire Road, Batesburg|
|Northern Sugar Maple
||1432 Berkeley Road, Columbia|
||USC School of Medicine, Columbia|
||Caring House, Palmetto Health, Harden St. |
||Clemson Sandhills Research Center|
||729 Olive Street, Columbia |
||Arsenal Hill, Columbia|
||Rosewood Park, Columbia|
||Crescent Hill Memorial Gardens, Columbia|
||Celia Saxton Neighborhood, Columbia|
|Grove of Trees
||1100 Sumter Street, Columbia|
||104 Country Club Road, Forest Acres|
||Forest Hills Neighborhood, Columbia|
|Caldwell Boylston Gardens
||Governor's Mansion, Columbia|
||Bull Street & Colonial Drive, Columbia|
|2008 Treasured Tree Winners
|Many-Oaks, Cedars, Crape Myrtle
||Elmwood Cemetery, Columbia|
||327 Edisto Avenue|
||818 Elmwood Ave and Lincoln Street|
|3 Live Oaks
||4501 Windemere Avenue|
||4701 Forest Drive, Cardinal Newman School|
|Grove of Live Oaks
||Ft. Jackson Hampton Parkway|
||1403 Westminster Drive|
||State House grounds|
||Kohl's in Harbison|
||1839 Chapin Road|
|Doolittle Raiders Palms
|2009 Treasured Tree Winners
|Red Cedar Trees
|| Cedarwood Lane, Columbia|
|Swamp Chestnut Oak
||1231 Shirley Street, Columbia|
|Big Leaf Magnolia
||930 Hampton Hill Road, Columbia|
|Ring Cupped Oak
||23 Woodhill Circle, Columbia|
||Saluda Shoals Park, Columbia|
|European Spindle Tree
||721 Old Cherokee Road, Lexington|
||702 Sweetbriar Road, Columbia|
||Harriet Barber House, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins|
||523 Grenadier Drive, Columbia|
||Belser Arboretum, Columbia|
||1800 Gervais Street, Columbia|
||3601 Monroe Street, Columbia|
||Shandon Methodist Church, Devine Street, Columbia|
||Sunnyside Park, Cayce|
||Claude A. Taylor Elementary School, Cayce|
||100-400 Blocks Edisto Avenue, Columbia|
|2010 Treasured Tree Winners
||Mt. Ebal Baptist Church, 5 Lion Loop, Batesburg, SC 29006|
||535 Huntington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29169|
|October Glory' Maple
||35 Lakeview Circle, Columbia|
||1401 Cambridge Lane, Columbia, SC|
||3631 Monroe Street, Columbia, SC 29205|
||Woodrow Wilson House, 1705 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC |
||Granby Park along nature trail|
||South East Park|
||Riverfront Park & Historic Columbia Canal|
||Belsor Arboretum 4080 Bloomwood Rd.|
||6071 Old Bush River|
|Harry Hampton Bald Cypress
||Congaree National Park|
||Gervais Street and Millwood Street|
||317 South Pickens Street|
|2011 Treasured Tree Winners
||114 Brassie Court, Columbia, SC 29229|
||1011 Edgefield Street, Columbia, SC 29201|
||Greenlawn Cemetery, Leesburg Road, Columbia, SC|
||3019 Bratton Street, Columbia, SC 29205|
||110 Nina Lee Drive, Columbia, SC 29203|
||6505 North Main Street, Columbia, SC 29203|
||Congaree National Park near Weston Lake Trail, Columbia, SC|
|Live Oak "Sarge"
||1800 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC|
||Geiger Confederate Cemetery on Geiger Ave., Columbia, SC|
||Sandhill Research Ctr. 900 Clemson Road, Columbia, SC|
|Grove of Oaks
||Maxcy Gregg Park Blossom Street, Columbia, SC|
|Southern Red Oak
||One Still Hopes Drive, West Columbia, SC|
|Grove of Bald Cypress Millpond Development
||Valley & Troy Roads intersection, Forest Acres, SC|
May Horticulture Tasks
By Mother’s Day, the soil is now warm enough to plant Caladiums and Elephant Ears. Planting of warm season annuals should be completed by mid-May. This will give young, tender roots a better chance to get established before sweltering, summer heat sets in by the end of May. Remember, don’t over water or water too frequently as this will promote shallow root growth. The goal is to water enough to keep the annuals alive, but to stress them just a little to encourage deep root growth to help them survive the hot, dry summers we experience in Columbia. Continue to monitor plants for insects. Don’t cut back the foliage of daffodils, as they need the leaves to make energy to create next year’s blooms.
By now the warm season grass has come out of dormancy and should have been fertilized. Centipede is an exception to the rule in that it like very low rates of nitrogen, and need only a little phosphorus. Centipede should be fertilized with 16-4-8 in the spring and with a 15-0-15 in July. Other warm season grasses need a higher rate of nitrogen. Water conservatively. Grasses, too, should be stressed just enough to encourage deep root growth. Water early in the day to keep fungal diseases to a minimum. Remember to vary mowing patterns to keep ruts from developing. As temperatures rise, raise the height of the lawn mower. Keep the blade sharp, and by cutting the no more than a third of the height of the grass, the grass is less likely to be stressed or have weeds invade the turf.
By now, perennials have emerged from their winter’s dormancy and will need to be fertilized with a slow-release fertilizer. It’s a great time to divide many perennials that perhaps you were unsure of the color of the blooms. Irises, Daylilies, and Cannas are some good ones to divide. Continue to monitor for insects, especially aphids in daylilies.
Roses are in their full glory. Deadhead faded roses to encourage re-blooming. Knockout roses are vigorous growers and may need to be pruned back so they don’t interfere with sight distance or impede traffic. Be sure to keep pruners sharp and clean when pruning roses for sanitary reasons. Older varieties of roses may need to have older canes pruned out to encourage new canes to develop. Most roses are heavy feeders, so be sure to apply water soluble fertilizer on a regular basis in addition to slow-release fertilizers. Regularly inspect roses for spider mites and aphids.
By now, all deciduous shrubs have leafed out. Loropetalums have finished blooming and can be cut back. It’s not too late to cut back azaleas if needed. Spireas are in bloom, as are Abelias, Indian Hawthorns, and ligustrums. It’s OK to prune back the ligustrums, hollies, and Indian Hawthorns once they are finished blooming. Abelias will continue to bloom throughout the summer, and if pruned, will shoot out wildly. Best to prune abelias by individual branches rather than a shearing approach. Even better is to not prune abelias at all and let them have the weeping habit that they have naturally. Severely limit watering established shrubs. They should have a large enough root system to survive hot, dry weather. Newly planted shrubs will need irrigation for the first two years. Monitor shrubs for insects and diseases.
Keep mowers and string trimmers away from trunks and roots of trees. There should be a six foot diameter of mulch around a tree to prevent the grass and weeds from growing too close to a tree. Never volcano mulch, only a 3” or 4” layer is needed. Continue to water newly planted trees throughout the warm weather. Now is the best time to plant palm trees until the end of August. They need well-drained soil and full sun. Palms may need to be staked, but never nail anything into the palm. Use a board and banding system of support. Remove after one year. Older leaves of palms die out naturally and will need to be pruned out to encourage new palm fronds. Palms are heavy feeders. In addition to a slow release palm fertilizer, palms can benefit from a monthly feeding of Epsom salts. This is a source of magnesium.