Angel Oak – A Lowcountry Treasure

Angel Oak

Johns Island, South Carolina.

Near the historic city of Charleston, Johns Island, at 84 square miles, is the largest island in South Carolina. It is probably best known as the home of one of its oldest residents, somewhere between 300 and 500 years of age according to differing Internet sources.

This Southern Live Oak tree is featured in last Sunday’s Cellpic Sunday. The panoramic image there, and the one above, are both stitched from two sets of 16×9 format photos. The tree is so large, it simply cannot be photographed in its entirety in a single image.

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Sign at the entrance to Charleston City Park’s Angel Oak.

Angel Oak Park is open year-round, note the hours listed on the sign in the photo above. There is no charge to visit the park, but donations are accepted. A small parking area is available along the road, but reviews mention that the weekends are very busy there so parking may be limited. We arrived mid-week and had no problem finding a place to park. It was only a short walk around the fence protecting the park into the park entrance.

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The massive trunk of the Angel Oak.

Over the years, the tree has become a symbol and major attraction for Charleston even though the tree is technically located on Johns Island. There are a collection of rules that visitors must follow in order to protect the tree. For example, no sitting on the tree or climbing its branches for obvious reasons. Photographers need to be aware that tripods or other pointed objects that could penetrate the ground are not permitted lest they damage the tree’s root system.

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The Angel Oak Tree.

Visitors to Kiawah and Seabrook Islands will drive right past the road that leads to the park. It’s less than a block out of the way and well worthy of a stop. These photos don’t really do it justice. In any case, all of these images can be viewed in 2K HD on my Flickr site. The album is located here.

John Steiner


  1. Not sure how I missed this one John!!!! Love, love, love it! BTW the islands have funded a total re-do of Angel Oak to a major park with walkways far enough from the tree to be sure it is not damaged. Not sure what it will mean for photographers but it will certainly better protect the tree. We do so love it!

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