Photo © Eric Baden


Reputed by local tour guides as 1500 years old and the “oldest living thing east of the Rocky Mountains,” the Angel Oak is documented by foresters as between 300 and 500 years old. The property on which the Angel Oak (Quercus virginiana) stands was originally part of a land grant to Abraham Waight in 1717. Waight became a prosperous planter who owned several plantations, including The Point, site of the Angel Oak. The property passed through the generations and acquired the “Angel” name when Martha Waight married Justis Angel in 1810. In 1957, then Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr., asked the South Carolina Forestry Commission to investigate acquiring the tree to incorporate it into state lands. The Forestry Commission did not feel that it could adequately care for the tree. The property remained in the Angel family until 1959, when the Mutual Development Company purchased it. The tree, however, was leased for one dollar per year to the South Carolina Agricultural Society who cared for it.

In 1964, a local real estate developer purchased the Angel Oak and surrounding property. At that time, the Magnolia Garden Club began to care for the tree and continued to do so until the late 1970s, when vandalism and other problems forced the owner to fence the tree in and charge admission to gain access. So concerned for the health and life of the tree was the Angel family that, in 1965, Mrs. Margaret Angel Bolt wrote South Carolina State Parks and requested that the site become a state park. Once again, the state replied that it did not feel it could accommodate the request.

educational partners
Garden DesignGeorge Eastman House
Additional Sponsors

John A. Brooks, Inc. • The Brown Foundation • Charles Butt • The City of Charleston • Barb & George Cochran • Topher Delaney• Jungle Gardens, Inc. • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens • Marc Dutton Irrigation, Inc. • Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation • L. Cary Saurage II Fund • Jeff & Patsy Tarr • Seibert & Rice