Angel Oak, John’s Island, South Carolina, 2014
Blogger’s Note: An appreciation of ancient trees comes with the territory working at Albany Woodworks. We have found a few, but this one really takes the cake. One of the oldest in the country is the Angel Oak. A recent trip by a staff member to Charleston, South Carolina tipped us off to its grand stature, and kindly submitted pictures of the visit.
From the Angel Oak Tree website:
Reported to be the oldest tree east of the Rockies, the Angel Oak is a live oak tree . It’s age is approximately 1,500 years. Some locals simply call it The Tree. It stands in a wooded area along Bohicket Road of John’s Island outside Charleston, South Carolina. It’s circumference measures a whopping 28 feet with a canopy that covers 17,000 sq ft.
The Angel Oak is a live oak, which is native to the low country. Live oaks are not very tall but have a wide spread canopy. Lumber from the live oak forests in the sea islands was highly valued for shipbuilding in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Angel Oak stands on part of Abraham Waight’s 1717 land grant. The land was later owned by Justus Angel and Martha Waight Angel where the tree got its name.
The tree is a statement of stability, history and evolution. The huge oak received some damage during the 80’s by a hurricane. However, as a statement of endurance, the sturdy live oak recovered. As true with all live oaks, the long, sprawling branches measure the root system anchoring the giant tree. Some of the limbs even drop underground for a few feet and then come back up, a feature common to only the very oldest live oaks.