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Monday, April 8, 2013

The Tree that Owns Itself

I one time drove out of my way by nearly two hours to see a tree.  Was this a really big tree?  No.  It is a really cool looking tree?  No.

There is something much more special about this tree.  This tree owns itself.

"That's ridiculous."  You probably say.  You may be right, but that is beside the point.

In the city of Athens, GA there lies a White Oak, who legally owns itself and the eight feet surrounding its base.  Now, some people may doubt that a plant can legally own property.  I say, "Yes it can."

Sometime in between 1820 and 1830 Colonel William Henry Jackson left in the deed to the small patch of property the tree sits on would be deeded to the tree itself.  Therefore, the tree became the first non-sentient property owner in the world.

You may ask "Wait a minute!"  How is a tree supposed to pay property taxes.  Let's just say the tree has alot of friends willing to help out.

Tragedy struck in 1942 when the Tree, old and infected with severe root rot feel over and died.  Shockingly, the tree did not leave a will.  Friend of the tree planted an acorn from the original tree and grew a new tree.  Being the next of kin, the sapling inherited the property and legal guardianship of itself.

Now, the tree sits in a residental neighborhood oddly jutting out into the street blocking cars.  The tree has many friends who watch after it.

This whole story may seem rather absurd, but I like the fact that out there somewhere is a tree that owns more property then I do.

 The Carpetbagger

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