Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Angel Oak Tree

There are places in & around Charleston that are favorites of both locals & tourists alike. I have been enjoying the discovery of many of these special locations since my move to Charleston. 
 The Angel Oak Tree on John's Island
 is one such spot. I have been hearing this tree spoken of with great reverence for a long time now & finally I got to see it for myself.

First of all, photographs simply cannot do justice to the sight of this magnificent tree.
One is filled with awe in its presence. I admit to feeling overcome with emotion as I stood under its massive branches.

The Angel Oak Tree is a  Southern live oak, which is native to the South Carolina low country. There seems to be quite a bit of discrepancy about just how old it is. Some say between 400-500 years old while others believe it could be as old as 1500 years. Unfortunately, scientists have not been able to actually calibrate its exact age. 

 Live oaks are not known for their height but for their shade coverage. 
The Angel Oak stands 66.5 ft (20m) tall, & measures 28 ft (8.5m) in circumference. It produces shade covering 17,200 square feet (1,600 meters). The branches are so long that many of them have been propped up to help support their weight, while others grow along & in some cases into the ground. The longest branch measures 187 ft from trunk to tip.

The Angel Oak has been in the news a lot lately, as developers have tried to encroach on its habitat. Luckily though, the Angel Oak has many friends & after years of court battles, conservation groups were finally able to raise enough money to buy the surrounding forest that protects & nurtures the tree.  

One cannot help but feel a sense of reverence as one stands underneath the arms of this majestic tree.

Some believe the Angel Oak to be the oldest living plant in the southeast United States. If you would like to know more about other "oldest" trees & plants these links  *  *  may be of interest to you.


  1. Hi,Sally,
    It is amazing to see that big Ork tree. Looks like a huge building having a soul in it.

  2. How amazing. You know, I think your photos are tremendously handsome, but I agree that some things are simply so massive that they are unphotographable -- yet they remain photographs of the heart.

  3. How amazing........long may she live to share her beauty with us. Thanks for sharing this!


  4. Amazing. So glad you could capture this and share it with us.

  5. What a beauty!! I can understand getting emotional being under that tree...and suspect your right in that the photo's don't do it justice- but then again how could you not photograph it - it's amazing!

  6. What an amazing tree! I am so glad to hear that it will continue to be protected! I can't imagine a tree that big! It would be wonderful to see such a sight, and although a photograph might not give it justice, it certainly shares its beauty ... if only a glimpse!

  7. Great pictures of an awesome tree. I get so frustrated with the signs which seem deliberately placed to foil pictures of the tree. Aaargh. It makes me think they want you to buy a picture in the gift shop.

  8. Wow! So amazingly beautiful! Thank you for sharing those wonderful pics. I hope I get to visit this tree some day!