The Tree That Owns Itself

The Tree That Owns Itself

Ilana Prokop, Editor

In the town of Athens, Georgia in the U.S. stands a tree that owns a itself. Yes, you read that right, the tree owns the deed to its own property and the land within 8 feet of the tree. The tree obviously didn’t buy the deed itself, but instead a man named Col. William H. Jackson, a professor at the University of Georgia in the 1800’s, originally owned the property were the tree stands. Out of love for the tree, the professor deeded the land ownership to the tree and everything within 8 feet of the tree, or at least that’s what the legends say. No original deed has been found or located, but the people in the town recognise the tree’s ownership and have taken measures to protect it. Even George Foster Peabody, a philanthropist from the area, paid for a fence to be installed surrounding the tree. At the base of the tree sits a plaque that reads, “For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides.”
The tree became diseased and was knocked down in a windstorm on October 9, 1942. But then the Junior Ladies Garden Club grew a sapling from an acorn from the tree and planted it in the same spot as the parent tree in 1946. To this day its property rights have never been questioned by anyone and the tree stands to this day in the same spot, on the corner of Dearing and Findley street in Athens, Georgia.