2016 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

Mission Statement:  Trees SC is a non-profit organization that fosters the stewardship of our state’s urban and community forests through education, advocacy, and network.

 Executive Committee Officers:
President – Drew Smith                                  Vice President – Brad Farmer
Treasurer – Mike Russell                                Secretary – Rachel d’Entremont
Advisor – Lowe Sharpe

Board of Directors  – Clark Beavans, Danny Burbage, Whitt Cline, Matt Clinton, Lois Edwards, Amanda Flake, Tim Gillette, Danny Jones, Tom Knowles, Luther Marchant, Scott Park, Derrick Phinney, Mike Russell, Terry Smith, Carroll Williamson, Eddie Bernard (ex-officio), Donna Foster (ex-officio), Bob Polomski (ex-officio)

Executive Director– Karen Hauck

Membership – 385 members:  89 Corporate, 123 Governmental, 164 Individuals, 9 Non-Profit



  • Published and electronically distributed 4 issues of The Acorn, Volume 26 (spring, summer, fall and winter)
  • Hosted the South Carolina Arborist Workshop: Insects and Disease on March 3, 2016.  The workshop had 90 people in attendance, and was sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts, Carolina Tree Care, CSX, Duke Energy, Lewis Tree Service, SCE&G, Schneider Tree Care, Sox & Freeman, and the S.C. Forestry Commission.
  • Hosted the South Carolina Arborist Workshop for practicing arborists. The workshop, which was held on September 15, 2016 at Harbison State Forest, had 80 people in attendance and was sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts, Carolina Tree Care, CSX, Duke Energy, Lewis Tree Service, SCE&G, Schneider Tree Care, Sox & Freeman, and the S.C. Forestry Commission.
  • Partnered with ISA Southern Chapter to host the South Carolina Tree Climbing Academy in Irmo on May 23, 2016. Ten climbers attended the workshop, led by instructors from North American Training Solutions.
  • Hosted a Canopy Session in Hartsville, SC on May 5, 2016. The program presented information on site preparation, nursery stock, proper pruning techniques, and an overview of Tree City USA. Twenty-six people attended the program.
  • Hosted the workshop Designing Infrastructure for Urban Tree Sustainability on June 21, 2016 in Columbia. Forty-two people attended the program.
  • In partnership with TreesGreenville, launched Tree Keepers, a community-based program designed to educate community members about the value of trees and proper tree care. Eleven people participated in the 6-week course.
  • Hosted the Annual Conference at Folly Beach, SC on October 27-28, 2016.  Major conference sponsors included Bartlett Tree Experts, Carolina Tree Care, CSX, Duke Energy, Lewis Tree Service, SCE&G, Schneider Tree Care, Sox & Freeman, and the S.C. Forestry Commission.
  • Celebrated Trees SC’s 25th anniversary with special celebrations held throughout the state:  Columbia, Clemson University, Moore Farms Botanical Garden, and the Angel Oak.

Number of individuals reached through education programs: 1,553
Number of communities reached through education programs: 71
Number of South Carolina counties served:  35


  • Presented the 2016 Heritage Tree Award to the Augusta Circle Elementary American Elm (Greenville)
  • Awarded the 2016 Golden Acorn Award to Nate Dubosh (MUSC)


  • Contracted with KBH Solutions, LLC to provide executive director services
  • Developed and administered a fiscally responsible budget for the organization
  • Contracted with the accounting firm Burkett, Burkett & Burkett in Rock Hill, South Carolina to file the organization’s IRS Form 990
  • Applied for and received a 2016 grant from the S.C. Forestry Commission
  • Provided financial assistance for individuals to attend the 2016 Trees SC Annual Conference
  • 2016 Corporate Sponsors:
    SUSTAINING PARTNERS:  Bartlett Tree Experts, Carolina Tree Care, CSX, Duke Energy, and Schneider Tree Care
    PLATINUM LEVEL:  Lewis Tree Service and Sox & Freeman


Annual Members Meeting: – The last members’ meeting was held on October 27, 2016 at Folly Beach, SC.

Board of Directors Meetings:
February 4, 2016 – Wampee, S.C.
February 4-5, 2016 Annual Retreat – Wampee, S.C.
April 21, 2016 – S.C. Forestry Commission Headquarters
July 21, 2016 – S.C. Forestry Commission Headquarters
October 26, 2016- Folly Beach, SC



On the Stump: Spring 2017

By Danny Burbage


Delight in Disorder

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthralls the crimson stomacher;
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribands to flow confusedly;
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat;
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility.
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.

Robert Herrick-Circa 1648

Am I a paradox or, simply, a hypocrite?  For the most part, I’m a rule-follower. I sort recyclables exactly according to municipal code. I change the oil in my car every 5000 miles and (despite what T.V. talking heads do) I would never wear a striped tie and checked shirt at the same time. (A rule I learned in high school).

Family and close friends, however, will tell you that, when an important decision must be made, I’d rather fly by the seat of my pants. I’ll happily take advice from others, In fact, I’ll seek it out. I just don’t like being hemmed in by hard and fast rules (even some I helped to create). I don’t believe that I am” above the rules” but I believe we sometimes enshrine rules before vetting them appropriately.

Rules are created to preserve order and the smooth running of society. Without them, all could run amok. On the other hand, rules can be restrictive, confining and sometimes, creativity stifling.

When I first became involved in streetscape planning, the rule of thumb was to plant only a single species of tree per city block and maybe block after block. Sometimes, a designer might specify oaks in one block, elms in the next followed by a block of palms. Each block, would have trees of the exact same species, variety, bloom color, trunk character, etc. Such uniformity promotes visual order and a degree of formality. Properly planned, a design like this makes a stunning visual and emotional statement. Think of the delighted “oohs” you might hear on a springtime walk when a pedestrian turns a corner and is surprised by an allee of cherry blossoms. Or later in the year, when leaves on an adjacent block are painted, from one corner to the next, in autumn crimson. The order works. Repetition, in this instance, fills the eyes and reinforces seasonable beauty. On the other hand, a species’ specific disease or pest could wipe out entire blocks of trees.  And from an aesthetic perspective, just because the design works, are we bound to do only that?

Less formal, certainly, but a streetscape with species diversity can provide equal visual interest. A sidewalk, with wisely varied plantings, offers an adventure for people willing to slow down and observe. Trekking past the great, furrowed girth of an oak to view the daintiness of a dogwood in bloom that precedes a sugarberry’s chartreuse leaves and warty, gray bark is a nuanced journey of discovery.  This mixed medium baits you with variations while the single species theme is straightforward and bold.

What do you prefer; form and formality, or do you “delight in disorder”?  My guess is that the situation will inform the rule.


Passport to Trees: SC Forestry Commission

By Clark Beavans

This time we’re going to take a quick look at the state agency that supports community forestry in South Carolina: the SC Forestry Commission.  Because of the diversity of cultural and economic forces at work across South Carolina, we think it might be helpful to see how the SC Forestry Commission meets the challenge of providing support to citizens who want to maximize the benefits of trees in the communities where they live, work and play. 


The mission of the SC Forestry Commission (slightly paraphrased) is to protect, promote, enhance and nurture forests in South Carolina for the greatest good of SC citizens.  Responsibilities include both rural and urban forests and all associated values and amenities of healthy forests.

The SC Forestry Commission supports community forestry in South Carolina by providing educational and technical assistance to municipal and county governments, civic and volunteer organizations, professional associations, agencies, institutes, and businesses.  Their expertise includes assisting constituents with community forest inventories, green infrastructure planning, tree ordinances, Tree City USA certification, grant project implementation, and general education on the benefits of trees (including selection, planting and maintenance).  There is a wealth of solid tree-related information on their community forestry web page.

In researching this article I learned something surprising to me: in South Carolina the Community Forestry program is funded entirely by a modest Federal grant, which is matched by state (fire fighting) dollars.  While this is a remarkably creative way to deliver community forestry services to citizens, if the state had some skin in the game (i.e., direct funding through the state budget), the program would be more relevant and impactful.  After all, by one conservative estimate, South Carolina’s community forests are worth more than $55 billion,[1] which represents a resource worthy of investment. Fortunately, the relative geographic compactness of the state helps the Forestry Commission to operate the community forestry program as efficiently as possible.

If you look at the Forestry Commission’s organizational map, you can see how the state is divided into 3 Regions.  There is a Regional Urban Forester to deliver community forestry services in each region; they are overseen by the Urban Forestry Coordinator at the Columbia headquarters (see their contact information here). Additionally, though not technically a part of the community forestry program, there are other facets of the SC Forestry Commission that also provide services appropriate to community forestry: the seedling program (a source of inexpensive bare-root tree seedlings for savvy folks who have appropriate knowledge to select tree species and match them to appropriate sites, particularly if they can build and utilize a gravel bed) and a fire prevention program called Firewise. Please visit these pages to learn how you can help make your community more resistant to wildfire – and don’t subscribe to the myth that “it can’t happen here

[1] Nowak et. al., Compensatory Value of Urban Trees in the United States, Journal of Arboriculture 28 (4): July 2002

When the Acorn fell from the tree…

Back in 1992, we published our first newsletter.  At the time, it didn’t have a name, but it was still full of pertinent information and a go-to for the industry.  Twenty-four years and nearly 100 issues later, the Acorn is still growing strong.  We invite you to take a look back at our first issue and reminisce along with us.

The Acorn Issue 1

2017 Corporate Sponsors

We are pleased to announce our 2017 Corporate Sponsors

Sustaining Level:

Duke Energy
Bartlett Tree Experts

Charleston Tree Experts
Schneider Tree Care

Platinum Level:

Carolina Tree Care
Lewis Tree
Sox & Freeman 

For more information on our Corporate Sponsorship Program, please contact our office at (843) 814-4620 or by e-mail at karen@treessc.org.

Trees SC Specialty License Plate On Sale Now


The Trees SC specialty license plate is now on sale!   Designed by Trees SC member Chris Thompson of Nature Form in Spartanburg, this plate perfectly exemplifies the mission of Trees SC- connecting people and trees.  All proceeds from plate sales will help support urban and community forestry programs across South   Carolina.

For an additional $30 (biannually) over the base cost of a standard SC license plate, you can have a license plate which shows your appreciation for trees while at the same time, supports urban and community forestry programs across South Carolina.

You can purchase your Trees SC license plate in one of three ways:

  1. Visit your local DMV office
  2. Submit an application via mail
  3. Visit www.SCDMVonline.net to order your plate online

Support urban and community forestry in South Carolina and order your plate today!