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The Angel Oak
John's Island, South Carolina


You see before you the oldest living thing East of the Mississippi River. Located in Angel Oak Park and owned by the city of Charleston, SC this behemoth Live Oak (quercus virginiana) tree is believed to be in excess of 1400 years old!  That means it was here around the time of King Arthur or that it had already been here 1000 years before Columbus discovered America. 

In the early years of the twentieth century the branches lumbered across a carpet of its own creation. However, in an attempt to preserve every bough and limb some have recently been propped up on four foot timbers from where they continue to grow.  About 15 years ago my family and I visited the Angel Oak and the four of us made an attempt to encircle its trunk with our arms outstretched.  It would have taken another family our size to join us before we could even come close. 

There is much mystery associated with the Angel Oak, as one would imagine, considering it's ancient age. Tales of angels appearing in and around it have been told by the locals and supported by their historical accounts of hanging from its branches for generations.

However, the truth of why this live oak is called the Angel Oak has more romantic appeal.  Recorded history traces the ownership  of the tree and surrounding land back to the year 1717 when Abraham Waight received it as a small land grant.  The tree stayed in the Waight family for four generations and in 1810 was part of a Marriage Settlement to Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel.  

There is no charge to visit this magnificent specimen of the live oak and should be considered a "must-do" when visiting the area.  No words can describe the feeling of standing beneath this canopy of shade. 

Directions can be found HERE. Angel Oak is located at 3688 Angel Oak Road, Johns Island, S.C. For more information, please call (843) 559-3496.


Other Angel Oak Statistics include:

Height: 65 feet

Longest Limb Length: 89 feet

Trunk Circumference: An amazing 25.5 feet
Canopy of shade: 17,100 sq. feet

No photograph can ever do true justice to the Angel Oak.  One artist's rendering of the whole of the tree can be found HERE.


We thank KURT GRIGG for the code that makes our stars float!

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