Saturday, June 02, 2007

An Angelic Tree Witnesses History

Wasn't this week's Wordless entry a wonderful example of a Live Oak tree? I have never seen it, but would like to.

Californiateacherguy earns a link from me for correctly identifying the tree as the Angel Oak located in Charleston, South Carolina. A more accurate description of its location would be a wooded area along Bohicket Road on John’s Island outside of Charleston.

Tourist learn that the tree has been designated as the oldest living thing east of the Rockies (some say the Mississippi) and is 1,500 years old. However, some tree experts including Charleston’s own urban arborist state the tree is only 500 years old.

Either way…..it’s old.

Sadly, we will never know for sure. Live Oaks generally have heart rot so a core sample cannot be tested. At sixty-five feel tall Angel Oak is not that impressive. What invokes awe is the shear size of the tree’s limb span or canopy. It is an impressive 17,000 square feet. The longest limb is 89 feet long. Some limbs dip to the ground, go underground, and come back up. The picture seen below was taken from this website.

The land Angel Oak stands on what was part of an original land grant to Abraham Waight in 1717. The property remained in the Waight family for four generations. At some point the Waight family ran out of male heirs and the tree passed through marriage to the Angel family… .Martha and Justis Angel to be exact. Many state this is how the tree came to be known as Angel Oak though there are rumors that angels hang out around the tree as well.
Who knows? It makes for an interesting story.

The City of Charleston owns the tree today and maintains it along with the park it sits in.

4 comments:

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Sometimes my sleuthing abilities amaze me! Thank you for the link, my dear. I hope you get to visit the venerable Angel. She shall surely welcome you.

The Elementary Writing Chef said...

Wow! That is something! I love to see things that date as far back to the founding of this part of the world, and just to imagine what all that tree has witnessed in its life!! Incredible! My twelve year old who has a great interest in history enjoyed this as well. Thanks for sharing!!

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