A photo doesn’t do this tree justice. Its limbs crawl along the ground, are held in place by poles and ropes, wrap around themselves like giant fingers. It is the original tree of life. Its movement and growth is marked by centuries, wars, hurricanes, earthquakes and, most recently, a court fight against the building of apartments nearby. I think the oak tree won for now.
They call the Angel Oak the oldest living organism east of the Mississippi River. The poster nailed up to the back wall of the one-room tourist shop noted that experts estimate the tree to be 300 to 400 years old; it stands 65 feet tall, measures 28 ft in circumference and shades an area of 17,000 square feet. Its longest limb, which rests on the ground, is 105 feet in length.
Since I’m not a numbers person, these measurements don’t mean all that much to me. What I do know is that I was honored to meet this beautiful and grand old lady.