Trinity Live Oaks – Columbia, SC

2011 Heritage Tree Award Winner


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Trinity Live Oaks

Complementing one of Columbia’s most treasured historic landmarks, Trinity Episcopal Church, are three magnificent Live oaks. The vulnerable old trees, with their spreading branches and luxuriant evergreen leafage, soften the cathedral’s beautiful Neo-Gothic facade and create a shady haven in the churchyard. The oldest tree, known as the “Sire Oak,” came from a grove at the Hampton estate and was planted in 1814. Beneath its shelter are buried some of South Carolina’s most prominent citizens-the three Wade Hamptons, poet Henry Timrod, educator Thomas Cooper, US Senator W.C. Preston, several SC governors, soldiers of the Revolution and later American wars, and many other eminent South Carolinians. The second tree is believed to have been planted in 1894, and the third oak was planted in 1925 when the Parish House was finished. Over the years, there has been some damage to the trees but church staff and parishioners are dedicated to preserving the trees for generations to come.