South Carolina

Edisto Mystery Tree – Edisto Island, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Charleston County Photos  |  Edisto Mystery Tree

Edisto Island‘s Mystery Tree stands about 100 feet off SC 174, just across from the entrance to Botany Bay. While no one is quite sure who adorns it, the decorations change with the seasons and the tree has become a beloved local landmark. Is one person responsible or can anyone decorate the tree, much like the old boat on Folly Beach? Please comment below if you have more info!

Edisto Island Mystery Tree

Marty Peterson of Green Mountain, NC, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

By the way, if you continue further down the road towards the beach, you will come across another mysterious tree. On your right stands a large old oak with a unique swing hanging from its boughs. The swing is made from a stack of old mattresses. As one mattress disintegrates, a new one is added on top of it.

Mystery Tree Valentines

Sue Johnson of Mount Pleasant, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The South Carolina Picture Project values our state’s special trees. Learn more about South Carolina trees here.

Mystery Tree

Charleen Mason of Batesburg, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Edisto Mystery Tree

Pam Oerman of North Augusta, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Mystery Tree Edisto Island

Rusty Williamson of North Charleston, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Mystery Tree SC

David Shull of Elloree, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Mystery Tree Edisto

David Shull of Elloree, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on the Edisto Island Mystery Tree

Contributor Charleen Mason describes his photo above: “The Mystery Tree is decked out for football season. Footballs and pom poms galore! The tin plate-like thing in the middle says ‘Ohio State,’ and there is also a golf tee and ball at the top.”

Rusty Williams describes his summertime shot, shown in the middle of the page, as follows, “This picture shows the summer theme which includes an American flag, buckets for playing in the sand, and a beach chair.”

Contributor Brandon Coffey sums up Sue Johns’s photo of the Edisto Mystery Tree like this: “Located across the entrance to Botany Bay Road off of Highway 174, this curious tree stands from the marsh dripping in decorations depending on the season. Seen here with hearts, I can imagine it was near Valentine’s Day, but come any other time of year and the display will always be different and equally interesting. This quirky local landmark has become beloved over the years but remains a mystery as most are not sure who adorns the trees with festivity! I love the mystery.”

Add your own reflections here.

Edisto Mystery Tree Info

Address: South Carolina Highway 174 and Botany Bay Road, Edisto Island, SC 29438
GPS Coordinates: 32.550871,-80.280356

Edisto Mystery Tree Map

Edisto Mystery Tree – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Edisto Mystery Tree, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

2 Comments about Edisto Mystery Tree

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
October 4th, 2017 at 11:55 am

We have seen the same article and slavery was in fact inhumane and cruel but we have never seen this mentioned elsewhere and the article wasn’t supported by historical facts, as far as we could see anyway. We would love to expand this further if sources could be shown to explain where this information comes from.

Byron GasqueNo Gravatar says:
October 3rd, 2017 at 7:37 pm

From an article I read a while back. The original tree was constructed by former slaves of the plantation where Botany bay now stands. Slaves where bought here as a first stop and were beaten and tortured into conformity by a cruel master. Later when he died and slavery abolished the remaining freemen and their families feared the ghost of the cruel plantation owners would haunt them so they constructed this and other trees like it to capture the evil spirits.

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