The Big Oak – Thomasville, Georgia - Atlas Obscura

The Big Oak

This historic oak tree has been around for over 300 years and might last for 300 more so long as it doesn't fall apart first. 


The massive tree known to the locals of Thomasville, Georgia, as “The Big Oak” has been standing on the same spot for over three centuries despite branches breaking under their own weight and a number of truck accidents.

The Big Oak stands on a Thomasville street corner where its long, gangly branches have spread out in all directions. The tree is what is known as a Live Oak, which means it maintains its foliage throughout the year.  It was one of the first of its kind to be registered in the Live Oak Society, an organization that tracks the history and health of the rareish trees. Despite the feelings of some skeptical visitors, the tree is believed to be around 330 years old and as such, its long, heavy boughs have begun to sag and break. In response to the rigors of age, tree doctors have used wires to strengthen the limbs. However, old age is not the only threat to the beloved tree.

Being located so close to an intersection of roads, the Big Oak has been damaged a number of times across the years by careless drivers. People have plowed into it or damaged the overhanging branches with too-tall vehicles. Despite the wounds, the Big Oak lives on.

Visitors to the tree can find a small plaque that explains the tree’s importance. If the people of Thomasville can keep the tree together it may be in for another few centuries of brightening up the landscape. 

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