Angel Oak is an enormous Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina. The tree is estimated to be 400–500 years old.[1] It stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). Its longest branch distance is 187 ft (57 m) in length.[2] Angel Oak was the 210th tree registered with the Live Oak Society.[3][4][5]

Angel Oak
Angel Oak, Johns Island, South Carolina
Angel Oak, Johns Island, South Carolina
SpeciesSouthern live oak (Quercus virginiana)
LocationJohns Island, South Carolina, US
Coordinates32°43′02″N 80°04′50″W / 32.71709°N 80.08043°W / 32.71709; -80.08043

Background edit

Angel Oak in March 2010

The oak derives its name from the estate of Justus Angel and his wife, Martha Waight Tucker Angel.[6] Local folklore tells stories of ghosts of formerly enslaved people appearing as angels around the tree.[7][8]

Despite the claims that the Angel Oak is the oldest tree east of the Mississippi River, bald cypress trees throughout North and South Carolina are[9] significantly older. One example in North Carolina is over 1,600 years old.

History edit

Ferns and other greenery grow along the tree's massive limbs

Angel Oak was damaged severely during Hurricane Hugo in 1989 but has since recovered.[10] The City of Charleston has owned the tree and surrounding park since 1991.[11]

Development is beginning to encroach on the site of Angel Oak. In 2012, plans to build a 500-unit apartment complex that would be 160 yards (150 m) from Angel Oak were challenged in court by a group called Save the Angel Oak and the Coastal Conservation League; their concerns included the construction's effect on available groundwater and nutrients.[12] By December 2013, the Lowcountry Land Trust, celebrated [13] "the preservation of 17 acres adjacent to the majestic tree." The 17 acres adjacent to the Angel Oak were purchased by Lowcountry Land Trust, protecting the area from development.

Angel Oak is featured prominently in the book The Locket/The Heart of a Child by Emily Nelson – now titled Where the Fireflies Dream.[14][15]

Angel Oak was the focal point of an Allstate television ad in September 2018 saluting the strength of the Carolinas following the devastation of Hurricane Florence.[16]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ David Elliott (2015-03-29). "Angel Oak Facts". Archived from the original on 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
  2. ^ "History of the Angel Oak".
  3. ^ Live Oak Society listing of oaks 1-500 Retrieved 2013-07-16
  4. ^ Live Oak Society with images and information
  5. ^ Bertauski, Tony. "Taking care of the Angel Oak, a grand old lady Johns Island tree estimated to be 400-500 years old". Post and Courier.
  6. ^ "African American slave owners". Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  7. ^ Pakenham, pp. 142–43
  8. ^ Dent, p. 148
  9. ^ Pederson, Neil. "Eastern OLDLIST: A database of maximum tree ages for Eastern North America".
  10. ^ "Arboresque: Angel Oak". Archived from the original on 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
  11. ^ "Angel Oak Website". Archived from the original on 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  12. ^ Angel Oak case ends, The State, April 6, 2012
  13. ^ Angel Oak Preserve Celebration A Success, The Lowcountry Land Trust, December 20, 2013
  14. ^ Stefan Andrews. "The 400-year-old Angel Oak is one of the most remarkable living things east of the Mississippi". The Vintage News. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Where The Fireflies Dream". Goodreads. Retrieved 2023-07-31.
  16. ^ "Allstate TV Commercial, 'Still Standing'". Retrieved 2018-09-24.