Angel Oak: Advertisement highlights a grand American resource

Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina
Angel Oak is popular for wedding pictures, it appears — this one is featured in a local real estate advertisement. “This beautiful live oak tree, called The Angel Oak, is located in Angel Oak Park off Bohicket Road and is said to be the oldest living thing east of the Rockies. It is about 1,500 years old and stands 66.5 ft tall, measures 28 ft in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. From tip to tip its longest branch distance is 187 ft. From Picture Gallery Johns Island Real Estate by Greater Charleston Properties”


I love this ad from Allstate Insurance. “Still Standing.”

ISpot describes the ad:

Allstate tells the story of the Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina (known as “The Tree” by locals). It’s rumored that it is the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River and remains standing despite all the harsh weather and natural disasters it has faced over the past 500 years. Allstate likens its strength to the resilience that resides in us all and says it’s humbled by the courage shown by Hurricane Florence victims, offering up helping hands in partnership with the American Red Cross.

Dennis Haysbert narrates the ad, but without appearing himself, as he does in several other Allstate ads.

It’s not the oldest tree east of the Mississippi; there are cypress trees much older even in South Carolina. The name “Angel Oak” comes from the surname of a man who owned the land once, not from any angelic action or legend.

Even through corrections of the legends, the tree stands, a beautiful monument to endurance of living things, and trees. Allstate’s ad is a feel-good moment, and the feelings are worthwhile. Endurance through adversity is a virtue. The Angel Oak itself suffered great damage in a 1942 hurricane, but recovered.

Here’s a tourist video showing off more the tree, and the supports used to keep branches alive, similar to the supports we saw in China supporting 2,000-year-old trees.

Honoring trees is a worldwide tradition, and a great one. We don’t honor trees nearly enough, in my opinion.


Most of the limbs of Angel Oak run almost parallel to the ground. Over time, dust, seeds and spores settle along the branches. Ferns and other greenery now grow along the massive branches, making even the trunk appear green.
Photo by MadeYourReadThis – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

3 Responses to Angel Oak: Advertisement highlights a grand American resource

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    I’ve been to Big Tree at Goose Island, with Scouts, a couple of times. I wonder how many grand old live oaks there are around the South in such positions of honor and veneration.

    Worked for a couple of years with Barry Tindall of the National Parks and Conservation Association. He was quite the activist on old trees, big trees and historic trees. Every state we visited he’d arrange a side trip to look at trees. It was great fun.

    But he lost a couple of fights in Northern Virginia, huge trees with great historicity, where the bulldozer operator bulldozed the sign banning destruction of the tree before he got to the tree. “Didn’t see any sign.”

    A storm took out the Wye Oak in Maryland (not a live oak, but no matter). Nearly lost the Treaty Oak in Austin to vandalism.

    We need trees now, more than ever. I hope we as a species wake up to that fact soon enough.


  2. A magnificent old tree! It is a bit bigger than our Big Tree at Goose Island State Park. It makes for a good ad!


  3. Anima Monday says:

    Some people deeply honour trees =) Austin has a long tradition of loving trees. Even though outsiders like Lois Kolkhorst keep interfering we have maintained that tradition of caring. And you know, as amazing as these trees are there are also some amazing people doing great work to protect them. I recently wrote about one of our trees and some of its struggles here:


Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: