Johns Island Presbyterian Church

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Johns Island Presbyterian Church

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:53 pm

The church is located just a few miles down the road from the Angel Oak. The church was originally built in 1719, with a major addition in 1823. The cemetery has just a handful of trees but the trees are impressive. A double trunked J. silicicola rises to 60.3'. Sand live oak generally grows on the beaches of barrier islands, forming protection for the rest of the islands by blocking the wind. They are often very contorted trees, typically leaning away from the prevailing winds. The more developed barrier islands have very few of these trees. In a cemetery setting, several miles from the coast, this tree is very stately. The tree (Q. geminata) differs from the typical live oak (Q. virginiana) by having smaller leaves, which are also lighter in color and shaped with a little curl to them. The crowns are much more open than live oaks. They also have profuse epicormic sprouts. Live oaks have these sprouts as well but not typically in such great numbers. Sand live oak bark is lighter in color, similar to the lowest bark on the trunk of a large white oak or post oak.

The major find in the cemetery was a pair of Carolina laurelcherries. I had not even seen this species before. It is generally a small understory tree but these are large. The largest is between graves from 1832 and 1860. My guess is that it was planted between these two dates but I have no experience with the species so it's more of a hunch. The laurel cherry is the largest known. There is no listing in the Champion Trees list.

sand live oak Q. geminata 57.8' 17.61m 10'1" cbh 3.07m
Carolina laurelcherry Prunus caroliniana 45.5' 13.86m 8'6" cbh 2.59m 26.7' spread 8.13m
S. redcedar J. silicicola 60.3' 18.38m

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