The History of Charleston's Angel Oak Tree
Angel Oak is allegedly the oldest tree and is located east of the Rockies. The tree is estimated to be more than 1500 years old. It is simply known as The Tree in some circles. It stands in a wooded area in John’s Island just outside Charleston in South Carolina. Angel Oak is a live oak which also happens to be the state’s most imposing work of nature.
With a height of more than 65 feet, Angel Oaks has shaded the area for more than 1,500 years. Historical records trace the ownership of the tree and the land on which it stands to 1717 when it was given to Abraham Waight as part of a land grant. In addition, Mr. Waight was an extremely wealthy man who also owned several plantations. The tree four stayed in that family four generations. The land was also used as part of a marriage settlement between Martha W.T. Angel and Justus Angel. Today, Angel Oak serves as the focal point of a public park in South Carolina. In the modern day, Angel oak is owned by the City of Charleston and it costs nothing to marvel at the tree in John’s Island.
The tree currently has a circumference of 25 feet, a diameter spread of 160 feet and covers about 17,100 square feet of ground. Those visiting Charleston for the first time should know that Angel Oak is the most impressive work of nature in South Carolina. Additionally, the tree stands out in a wooden area in John’s Island about 12 miles from Ashley River.
Angel Oak is thought to be one of the oldest trees and living things as a whole east of Mississippi River. While live oaks are known to only grow out and not upwards, the long history of Angel Oak has allowed it to grow both out and up. This explains why it is so tall (more than 65 feet high) and so broad with a canopy that provides more than 17,000 square feet of shade. The tree trunks themselves are so heavy and large that some of them drop to the ground, something which is only universal among the oldest live oaks. Over the centuries, Angels Oak has survived rough weather including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods as well as human interference. It’s therefore accurate to assume that the tree will live for a whole lot more centuries before coming down.
Keep an eye out for the numerous artistic events that happen during the summer and autumn. Such include the ‘Evening Under the Angel Oak’ series and Spoleto festival.