Nature Related Articles

The Deep Rooted Symbolism of Trees
By Kathleen Karlsen

Nature scenes including trees and forests contain multiple mythic and symbolic qualities. The deep-rooted meaning of trees is apparent in common metaphors such as the Tree of Life and our ancestral heritage depicted in family trees. In Vedic philosophy, wood is viewed as the primal material of the universe. Christians see Christ as the cosmic carpenter and His ultimate sacrifice is represented by a wooden cross.

Specific trees in art symbolism also have their own meanings. The oak is the mightiest of trees and symbolizes strength and courage. The ancient Romans thought oak trees attracted lightening and connected the oak tree to the sky god, Jupiter and his wife, Juno, the goddess of marriage. Thus, the oak is used in art symbolism as a symbol of conjugal fidelity and fulfillment. The oak tree was regarded by Socrates as an oracle tree.

The Druids likewise ate acorns in preparation for prophesying. In addition, the Druids believed the leaves of the oak tree had the power to heal and renew strength.

The apple tree is symbolic of magic, youth, beauty and happiness. The cedar tree represents healing, cleansing and protection. Palm trees are symbolic of peace and opportunity. The symbolism associated with many other trees is summarized below:

* Apple tree symbolism - magic, youth, beauty, happiness
* Ash tree symbolism - sacrifice, sensitivity and higher awareness
* Aspen tree symbolism- determination, overcoming fears and doubts
* Beech tree symbolism- tolerance, past knowledge, softens over criticism
* Birch tree symbolism- new beginnings, cleansing of past, vision quests
* Cedar tree symbolism- healing, cleansing, protection
* Cherry tree symbolism - death and rebirth, new awakenings
* Cypress tree symbolism - understanding the role of sacrifice
* Elder tree symbolism- birth and death, fairy realm
* Elm tree symbolism- strength of will, intuition
* Hazel tree symbolism- hidden wisdom, dousing, divination
* Heather tree symbolism- healing from within, immortality, initiation
* Holly tree symbolism- protection, overcoming of anger, spiritual warrior
* Maple tree symbolism- balance, promise, practicality
* Palm tree symbolism- peace and opportunity
* Pine tree symbolism - creativity, life, longevity, immortality
* Willow tree symbolism- magic, healing, inner vision, dreams
* Choose an image of tree based on its art symbolism to decorate your home or office.
  This will serve as an effective visual reminder of your goals and help you to fulfill your
         dreams and visions for your life.

About the Author
Kathleen Karlsen, MA is an artist and design consultant. To view Kathleen’s original art work featuring forests, please see For hand painted fine art gifts, please visit For more articles about nature symbolism, please visit

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