April is a special month for tree lovers, with National Arbor Day falling on the 29th and Earth Day being celebrated across the world on the 22nd. We figured, what better time to show some appreciation for one of Charleston’s most famous and beloved trees — The Angel Oak.
Ok, it’s technically on John’s Island, but as it’s frequently featured on ‘what to see and do in Charleston’ lists, we should be able to lay claim to this ancient beauty, too.
The Angel Oak is huge and imposing, with limbs and branches far exceeding the size of some mature oak’s trunks. These limbs are so weighty they slump onto the forest floor, in some cases disappearing beneath the soil and surfacing again elsewhere.
According to recent measurements the tree is 66.5 feet tall with a circumference of 28 feet. It’s expansive branches measure 187 feet, tip to tip, and produce shade that covers 17,200 square feet. If those stats aren’t impressive enough, some estimates place the Angel Oak at 1500 years, making it one of the oldest living things in the country. The Angel Oak predates Columbus’s arrival in the New World by 1000 years.
The Angel Oak is now owned by The City of Charleston and you can visit for free all year round. Spring and summer are a particularly good time to stop by though, as numerous events are taking place, including the “Evening Under the Angel Oak” series, which features music, theatre, and more.