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The Majestic 1500-Year-Old Angel Oak Tree

Medieval History | August 9, 2017

One of the largest living oak trees in the world, the Angel Oak, is a Southern live oak tree located in Angel Oak Park, on Johns Island, South Carolina. The tree is believed to be around 1,500 years of age.

Locals call it "The Tree" due to its appearance and age. It is with no doubt a must-see for those who visit Charleston, South Carolina.

The oak tree is more than 65 feet high with a 25.5 feet circumference. It covers more than 1,700 square feet of shade and the biggest branch of this tree measures about 11.25 feet in circumference and extends up to 89 feet long.

The oak gets its name from the land owned by Justus Angel (an African American slave proprietor) and his wife, Martha. Urban legends recounts stories of ghost sightings of previous slaves showing up as angels around the tree.

Oak trees have been known to grow out and not upwards, the Angel Oak has grown both out and up and this is why it is so tall.

Its branches spreads in all directions with some driving underground and growing back up in the surface. The tree trunks themselves are so hefty and enormous that most of them drop to the ground, something that is common among aged live oaks.

Throughout hundreds of years, the Angel Oak has survived calamities such as tremors, floods and hurricanes. In fact, it was severely damaged during Hurricane Hugo in 1989, but, fortunately, has recovered since then.

The tree is a known tourist destination and the city holds local events in the park, which includes series of events called "An Evening under the Angel Oak".

In 1991, the City of Charleston bought the estate's property where the Angel Oak tree is planted. The tree has been awarded as the 2004 South Carolina Heritage Tree and as a 2000 Millennium Tree.

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