You’ll never guess who owns this tree in Georgia

Believe it or not, there’s an oak tree in the city of Athens, Georgia that has no owner. Scratch that…it actually owns itself!

The tree is located at the top of a steep hill near the intersection of two city streets and is probably the most unusual property holder in the world. According to the Athens Chamber of Commerce, the land on which the tree stands was originally owned by a professor at the University of Georgia. And legend has it that in the early 1800s, the professor, out of love for the great oak, deeded the tree ownership and the land within eight feet to itself.

The marker at the base of the tree states “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.”

According to the city of Athena, the original deed has not been located but the community recognizes the folklore and continues to protect the tree.

While the original tree became diseased and fell in a windstorm in 1942, a new tree was grown in the exact same place. The Junior Ladies Garden Club of Athens grew a sapling from one of the original tree’s acorns and planted it in the same spot on October 9, 1946.

No one has ever questioned the tree’s property rights.