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Angel Oak Park

Angel Oak

Park Details:

  • Location: 3688 Angel Oak Road, Charleston, South Carolina 29455
  • Size: 3 Acres
  • Directions

The Angel Oak is thought to be one of the oldest living things east of the Mississippi River. Acorns from the Angel Oak have grown to produce authentic direct-offspring trees. Live oaks generally grow out and not up, but the Angel Oak has had plenty of time to do both, standing 65 feet high and with a canopy providing 17,000 square feet of shade. Its limbs, the size of tree trunks themselves, are so large and heavy that some of them rest on the ground (some even drop underground for a few feet and then come back up), a feature common to only the very oldest live oaks. It has survived countless hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and human interference.


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WalkingBird Watching

Reportedly the oldest thing -- living or man-made -- east of the Rockies, Angel Oak is a live oak tree aged about 1,500 years. Some locals simply call it The Tree. It stands in a wooded area along Bohicket Road on John's Island outside Charleston. You won't find a lot of stuff like T-shirt shacks around there because the attraction is a single tree standing in a park. So keep an eye out for signs and drive slowly.

Duane Spurlock Angel Oak is a live oak. It is native to the Lowcountry and is not very tall but has a wide spread canopy. Lumber from the live oak forests in the sea islands was highly valued for shipbuilding in the 18th and 19th centuries. Angel Oak stands on part of Abraham Waight's 1717 land grant. Mr. Waight owned several plantations. The City of Charleston now owns Angel Oak. There is no charge to view the tree and is a must-see when visiting Charleston.

Towering more than 65 feet high, the Angel Oak has shaded John's Island for more than 1,400 years, and would have sprouted 1,000 years before Columbus' arrival in the New World. Recorded history traces the ownership of the live oak and surrounding land back to the year 1717 when Abraham Waight received it as part of a small land grant. The tree stayed in the Waight family for four generations, and was part of a marriage settlement to Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel. In modern times, the Angel Oak has become the focal point of a public park. Today the live oak has a diameter of spread reaching 160 feet, a circumference of nearly 25 feet, and covers 17,100 square feet of ground.

We arrived at 5:07 (horrible traffic) to find doors locked.  I really wanted a picture with the family by the tree.  We decided to drive back out on our way home the next morning.  Sadly, the incompetent workers did not arrive to open the doors until after 9:30.  They sure did make it out on time, but they cannot open on time???

By Belinda Sullards on Mar 28th, 2014

Sorry to hear about your experience, Belinda! For future reference or if you visit again, here’s a number for the city’s parks and rec department: (843)724-7327.

By Holly on Jun 19th, 2014

I was out at the Angel Oak Park to photograph the angel Oak tree. The women there told me I could not use my 3 lb. tripod, to protect the root system of the tree. However, the 10 posted tripods with the rules under the tree are a lot heavier, and break your own rules. I will also write the news stations for this issue.

By Mark Wickliffe on Jun 22nd, 2014

We very much enjoyed visiting the site.  Perhaps you should include in your website that although pets are not excluded, they are not allowed within the tree canopy area.  We certainly understand why that is, but it wouldn’t hurt to remind people so they don’t expect to walk up to the tree with their dogs.  We did bring our dog and were not that surprised by the notices posted, but we tried to search the online site before traveling down there and nothing on the site mentioned how pets are handled.

By Patrick J Cassidy on Feb 8th, 2015

Was in awe of such a beautiful and huge tree! However the “park” is a sad joke. Upon my arrival the woman inside the rec building on staff was incredibly rude and there was trash all around picnic and parking area(right next to the effing trash cans!) ... Pretty depressing since on the way in there is a sign reading “protected forever”, just not from the disgusting trash that is our human race.. Really wanted to have an amazing experience here but it was ruined. Would recommend going after hours and taking pics through fence as you get the same experience.

By Nicki on Feb 16th, 2015

Great information. Lucky me I found your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
I have saved as a favorite for later!

By big island clothing on Jul 15th, 2015

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CPC ProgramsCharleston Parks Conservancy has put together an online directory of all of our great Charleston Parks. You can browse parks, learn about their history, find out what amenities they offer and much more.

Some city parks are available for event permits. If you are interested in having an event or large gathering (wedding, festival, fundraiser, etc.) in a park, please contact the City of Charleston's permitting office to determine if the park is available for permitting and, if so, how to submit a permit. Call 843-724-7327.

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