Angel Oak – Johns Island, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Charleston County Photos | Angel Oak
The Angel Oak on Johns Island is believed to be between 500 and 1,500 years old, making it one of the oldest live oaks in the country. While its height of 65 feet may not be impressive, the shaded area covered by its foliage extends over 17,000 square feet!
© Janae Davis (2008)
You will notice in these pictures that many of the Angel Oak’s limbs rest peacefully on the ground, weighed down by their venerable age. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact age of the tree due to the tendency of live oaks to develop heart rot, a condition which makes it impossible to obtain accurate core samples.
© Carroll D. Brown (2011)
The tree’s name can be traced back to the original owners of the land, Martha and Justis Angel. The Angel Oak property was acquired by the City of Charleston in 1991. The tree is currently facing the threat of development and the destruction of its surrounding forest. While the Angel Oak itself is not in danger of being cut down, arborists caution that the forest around the tree protects its giant root system, provides shelter from storms, and affords it adequate moisture and drainage. Importantly, it also filters harmful pollutants before they reach the tree’s roots, bark, and leaves.
© Gary DuBose of Seneca (2008)
Many fear that the extensive residential and commercial development approved by the City of Charleston will jeopardize the tree’s safety and survival. Some experts have warned that a premature death will be the end result. Please be sure to check out the website Save the Angel Oak to learn about ways you can help to save this wonderful tree.
In addition to the peace and beauty the Angel Oak brings to its visitors, the tree has also been recognized as a 2000 Millennium Tree and as the 2004 South Carolina Heritage Tree.
© Samantha Keisler of Lexington (2007)
© Danny Robbins (2012)
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