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Discover the Mystical World of the Angel Oak – A Time-Honored Sentinel

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Written By Lakeisha Ethans

Heritage Gardener with Grafting Expertise

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Home » Ancient & Remarkable Trees » Discover the Mystical World of the Angel Oak – A Time-Honored Sentinel

Located on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina, the Angel Oak is a living monument, an imposing Southern Live Oak that whispers tales from centuries past.

Named after Justus Angel and his wife, Martha Waight Tucker Angel, this ancient arboreal giant has borne witness to the evolving landscape for approximately 400 to 500 years.

Massive Branches of the Angle Oak Tree

With its grand stature reaching 66.5 feet high and branches stretching wide enough to cast a shade over 17,200 square feet, the Angel Oak is not just a tree—it’s an entire outdoor sanctuary.

The tree’s history is as rich and rugged as its gnarled limbs. It withstood the brutal winds of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, showcasing its enduring strength.

The City of Charleston has safeguarded this majestic oak and its surrounding park since 1991, ensuring that it continues to thrive against the encroaching pulses of development.

Sunshine Through the Angel Oak

In 2012, when a proposed 500-unit apartment complex threatened its existence, local groups rallied to protect the land.

Their efforts bore fruit in 2013 when 17 adjacent acres were secured, preserving the oak’s serene environment.

Local folklore adds an ethereal layer to the Angel Oak’s story, with tales of ghosts of formerly enslaved people appearing as angels in the tree’s vast presence.

Despite competing claims of age from the ancient Bald Cypress trees in the Carolinas, Angel Oak holds its own as a symbol of strength and endurance, a role celebrated in various cultural portrayals from literature to television ads.

Whether spotlighted in Emily Nelson’s book “Where the Fireflies Dream” or in an Allstate ad praising the resilience of the Carolinas, Angel Oak continues to inspire and captivate all who wander beneath its expansive canopy.

Digging Deeper

Location

The Angel Oak is majestically rooted in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island, near the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina.

Angel Oak Tree in Charleston, South Carolina

Type of Tree

This colossal natural landmark is a Southern Live Oak, known scientifically as Quercus virginiana, renowned for its broad, enduring branches.

Is The Angel Oak Tree Still Alive?

Despite its age of 400-500 years, the Angel Oak continues to flourish, stretching its vast limbs across the landscape of Johns Island.

Descendants

While not directly related, numerous Southern Live Oaks across the South are considered spiritual kin to the Angel Oak, sharing its robust genetics and cultural significance.

Can You Visit It?

Visitors are welcome to explore the serene beauty of Angel Oak Park, where they can stand beneath the sprawling canopy of this historic tree.

Sprawling Branches of the Angel Oak Tree

Conservation

Following a successful legal challenge in 2012, conservation efforts have ensured that 17 acres surrounding the Angel Oak are protected from development, preserving its environmental sanctuary.

Legacy

Angel Oak’s imposing presence and historical significance have made it a beloved symbol of endurance and natural beauty, featured in both literature and media.

Want More?

If you’re fascinated by the Angel Oak, you might also enjoy learning about other legendary trees.

Explore the towering President Tree, the ancient Olive Trees of Gethsemane, Namibia’s Ombalantu Baobab, and the expansive Hundred Horse Chestnut in Sicily.

Each offers a unique glimpse into nature’s enduring grandeur.

Sources – Wikipedia

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Lakeisha Ethans

Heritage Gardener with Grafting Expertise

Lakeisha grew up in East Africa, literally surrounded by nature which sparked her interest in learning more about trees and plants from a very young age. She belongs to a family of gardeners, so for her, gardening is a way of life, a tradition she’s proud to uphold. As a self-taught gardener, Lakeisha has successfully grafted trees to produce hybrids for gardens and landscapes. When she’s not gardening, she’s writing about her experience with nature or watching baking fails!