Angel Oak

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The Angel Oak is a popular attraction near Charleston, South Carolina (November 2017)

Angel Oak is a 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[2] in length. Angel Oak was the 210th tree to be registered with the Live Oak Society.[3][4][5]

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 former slaves 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 trees 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.

The Angel Oak tree is featured prominently in the book The Heart of A Child by Emily Nelson.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence (September 2018), the Angel Oak tree has been featured in a television public service announcement saluting the resilience of Carolinians. (Sponsored by Allstate Insurance, the PSA concludes with an appeal for donations to the American Red Cross.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ David Elliott (2015-03-29). "Angel Oak Facts". www.angeloaktree.com. Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  2. ^ (57 m) "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". americancivilwar.com. 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". www.ldeo.columbia.edu. 
  10. ^ Arboresque: Angel Oak
  11. ^ "Angel Oak Website". 
  12. ^ Angel Oak case ends, The State, April 6, 2012
  13. ^ Angel Oak Preserve Celebration A Success, The Lowcountry Land Trust, December 20, 2013
Sources
  • Samuels, Gayle Brandow (1999). Enduring Roots: Encounters with Trees, History and the American Landscape. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-585-31062-9. 
  • Pakenham, Thomas (2002). Remarkable Trees of the World. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-84300-1. 
  • Dent, Thomas L. (1997). Southern journey: a return to the civil rights movement. New York: W. Morrow. ISBN 0-688-14099-8. 
  • Perry, Lee Tom (2007). Insiders' guide to Charleston: including Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Kiawah, and other islands. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. ISBN 0-7627-4403-0. 

Coordinates: 32°43′4″N 80°4′46″W / 32.71778°N 80.07944°W / 32.71778; -80.07944