August 11, 2022

Sarah Haselhorst, The Beaufort Gazette

An iconic Port Royal live oak at the center of a controversy lost its limbs. Then this happened

Several limbs were cut from the main trunk of a live oak on 12th Street in Port Royal on Wednesday to clear way for development, but before the landmark tree was felled, a stop work order halted the chopping.

The mostly bough-less tree, which has been a controversial topic in town, is one of two giant oaks that have been at the forefront of issues for many residents who believe the iconic trees are what define the coastal town.

Branches and limbs covered with Spanish Moss piled around the live oak’s base Wednesday morning, but a stop work order issued by Town staff at about 10:30 a.m. ceased the cutting. Port Royal Town Manager Van Willis said Elizabeth Bergmann had filed an appeal with the Port Royal Zoning Board of Appeals, which triggered the stop work order.

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