“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”
~ Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree
To most people a tree, is a tree. Sure they provide shade, are lovely to look at, provide a home for many animals and bear fruit for us to consume, but most people are not are aware of the meaning and symbolism that is attached to many common tree varieties. To people like author Thomas Hardy, trees are individuals, with their own characteristics, etc. Apart from being a symbol of antiquity and enduring strength, trees symbolize other qualities as well. Here is a list of common tree varieties and their symbols and meanings.
- Apple: Apple trees originated in Asia and were brought to North America by European colonists. These trees are said to represent youth, happiness, health, beauty and magic in ancient lore.
- Birch: In Celtic lore, the birch tree represents new life and new beginnings. They are said to be guardians over new ventures and new journeys in life.
- Willow: Willow trees are associated with love and intimacy. The wood from it is said to enhance psychic abilities.
- Oak: Oak trees symbolize power, courage and stoicism. The ancient Celts honored oaks for their endurance, and noble presence.
- Cherry: Cherry trees are a symbol of love and good fortune even as their flowers live for only a brief time.
- Elm: Found largely on the campuses of august colleges and universities, elm tree have long represented intuition and inner strength.
- Maple: Maple trees symbolize generosity, balance, promise and practicality. Native American cultures also attributed to them the spirit of rebirth, new awakenings and compassion.
- Pine: This coniferous tree symbolizes holiday celebrations, reaching for the stars and eternal life.
- Holly: This tree symbolizes joy, happiness and good luck. Some people call upon the holly when they are feeling emotionally defeated as is the case during periods of mourning.
In short, trees have meanings that go beyond their practical value as homes and sources of food and supplies. They have long been associated with permanency, life and many other characteristics. This is why if you are considering purchasing one of our tree markers or memorial tree plaques, you may wish to get more into the meaning and symbolism behind certain tree varieties.