The Tree That Owns Itself is a white oak that resides at the intersection of South Finley and Dearing Streets in Athens, Georgia. It has the unusual distinction of holding the deed to the land that it sits upon.

The first noted record of this was in the Athens Weekly Banner of August 12, 1890, although various reports give the actual year of the deeding as anywhere from 1820 and 1832. The story goes that Colonel William Henry Jackson, having fond childhood memories of the tree's parent, deeded an 8-foot square of land to it in order to ensure its continued protection. Tragically, this tree died on October 9, 1942, and the current tree is an offspring grown from one of the original tree's acorns. It is sometimes referred to as 'Son of The Tree That Owns Itself', although the patriarchy may be overreaching itself on this point.

The original deed has been lost (and, some argue, probably never existed), and also, legally speaking trees cannot hold deeds. However, the city of Athens has been gracious on this point, and the tree has been left to live in peace, with only occasional photo shoots and plaque placements to disturb its peace.

The tree is currently 50 feet (15 m) tall, healthy, and is regularly tended to by the Athens' Junior Ladies' Garden Club. It is one of Athens' best known landmarks, appears ready to hold this title for another few centuries at least.


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