This Is the True Story Behind the Tree That Owns Itself

Does a tree in Athens, Georgia, U.S., really own itself?
Loukia Papadopoulos

In Athens, Georgia, U.S., there is a tree that, legend has it, owns itself. The white oak is located at the corner of Dearing and South Finley Street and its story has been told many times by local folk.

The story goes that in the mid 19th century, a Colonel William-Henry Jackson had the tree on his land and so loved it that he could not bear the thought of it ever being cut down. In order to protect the tree, he wrote a deed giving the tree ownership of itself as well as all land 8 feet from it.

The tree still sits there today with a plaque commemorating Jackson's deed. It is such a touching story that one can only hope it is true.

Alas, YouTuber Half as Interesting is here to burst our bubble. In this video, he explains the many inconsistencies in the story that make it simply untrue. 

Although we are sad to see the tree tale is not true, knowledge is always better than ignorance. 



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