Candler Oak 300 Year Old Tree
South of the corner of Drayton and East Gaston Streets
The Candler Oak stands just south of the corner of Drayton and East Gaston Streets, and is estimated to be about 300 years old. It is 54 feet tall, has a circumference of 16.85 feet and a 63 inch diameter. Its average crown spread is 110.25 feet.
Five acres of land surrounding the oak were designated by the Georgia Legislature in 1791 to be used for a seaman's hospital, which was built in 1803. In 1819, a new structure, the Savannah Poor House and Hospital was built on the land, and in 1854 was converted to the headquarters of the Medical College of Georgia. The hospital was used by the Confederacy during the Civil War and even by General Sherman, who captured it and used the hospital to treat his soldiers. Health care organizations utilized the facilities until 2000.
After years of stress caused my automobiles, construction, and other signs of progress, the Candler Oak was in serious decline with a life expectancy of less than 20 years. In 1982, concerned citizens formed the Savannah Tree Foundation to protect the Candler Oak as well as other Savannah trees.The group made history by securing the first conservation easement on a single tree in the nation. In 1985, asphalt was removed from a parking lot over the tree's root area and the landmark was put on a health plan with guidelines for watering, mulching and fertilizing. In 2001, the Georgia Urban Forest Council designated the tree as a Georgia Landmark and Historic Tree.
Today, the Candler Oak is in good health. Arborists say the tree should continue to grace Savannah well into the 21st century.