Our Travels » Angel Oak

Angel Oak

The majestic Angel Oak, John’s Island, South Carolina – 1500 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.

Have you ever experienced a moment, a single moment, when you personally felt the full force and majesty of nature? I’ve known a few. Being outdoors in a raging thunderstorm with lightning so close you feel your hair rise to stand on end when it strikes. Listening as a hurricane vents its fury overhead and marveling at the quiet while the eye passes. Violent nature at its most forceful.

The majestic Angel Oak, John's Island, South Carolina - 1500 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River. https://www.lanascooking.com/angel-oak/

Then there are the quiet moments. The majestic ones. Moments when you appreciate the glory and ferocious tenacity of a living thing. A thing like the Angel Oak.

The majestic Angel Oak, John's Island, South Carolina - 1500 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.  https://www.lanascooking.com/angel-oak/

Angel Oak is located on John’s Island near Charleston, South Carolina. It is thought to be about 1,500 years old giving it claim to the title of the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River. It began life 1,000 years before Columbus set sail on his famous voyage to discover America.

The majestic Angel Oak, John's Island, South Carolina - 1500 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.  https://www.lanascooking.com/angel-oak/

This magnificent live oak has a circumference of nearly 25 feet and its branches shade an area of 17,100 square feet. The oak got its name from one of the previous owners of the land, the Angel family, but today it belongs to the city of Charleston, South Carolina.

The majestic Angel Oak, John's Island, South Carolina - 1500 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.  https://www.lanascooking.com/angel-oak/

There is no charge to visit the park where the oak stands and you can spend as long as you like exploring the beauty of this natural treasure.

The majestic Angel Oak, John's Island, South Carolina - 1500 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.  https://www.lanascooking.com/angel-oak/

Can you imagine the storms the oak has seen? The hurricanes she has weathered? Some of her limbs need a little assistance to stand upright these days or a prop to keep them elevated. I would, too, if I’d been through what she has.

The majestic Angel Oak, John's Island, South Carolina - 1500 years old and the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.  https://www.lanascooking.com/angel-oak/

Yet in other places, her graceful limbs bow down and lightly touch the ground before they curve back up reaching for the sky.

The next time you’re on the South Carolina coast, take an hour or two and seek out the Angel Oak. You’ll be awed and amazed. We were.

More about the Angel Oak:

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20 Comments

  1. This is so cool! I’ve definitely had a similar feeling seeing the Red Woods in California. So beautiful :)

  2. What a magnificent tree! We have some old beauties near by, The Giant Redwoods. One is so big, you can drive a car thru. I can never see enough of the big old trees.

  3. Thanks everyone for all the thoughtful comments about the Angel Oak. If you’re ever in the area of Charleston I hope you’ll pay her a visit. It’s an incredible thing to see.

  4. There is a huge, mighty Oak in the cemetery where my parents rest (Houston, Tx)…I have been visiting this tree for over 40 years. Everytime I visit my parents I go and give this tree a big hug…and thank it for its beauty and strength. Sometimes I leave flowers at its base as a little gift.

  5. I was in Charleston for the first time in June, and we went to see the Angel Oak. It is absolutely amazing to be standing in front of it, trying to grasp how long it was stood in that spot. Truly a special place!

  6. If only that tree could talk – I’m sure it would have all sorts of stories to tell. It makes one feel rather insignificant, doesn’t it?

  7. beautiful picture. It an impressive sight and makes me more aware of the Creator in charge. Thank you for sharing

  8. yes Lana, i have felt the power of the universe, the full force of nature, and a realization that there is something, someone who is bigger than i am leading the way . . . and the very majesty of nature can bring me to my knees in a heartbeat . . . i love this tree and hope i get to see it IRL someday!!

  9. That is a beautiful tree. I saw a similarly majestic one a couple years ago in Horsham, England. It’s amazing how that tree has grown.