Arbor Day, observed on the last Friday in April is usually celebrated with tree plantings. So for all who are planting trees it might be helpful to know that over the course of history humans have attached symbolism to certain trees. Apple trees symbolize magic youth, beauty and happiness while Cedar trees are associated with healing, cleansing and protection – perhaps mostly from bugs in your closet. An Elm tree signifies strength of will – and perhaps the will to overcome Dutch Elm disease. Maple trees are known to give syrup but they also symbolize balance, promise and practicality.
The Joshua tree may symbolize 80s rock to followers of U2 but it was the Mormon settlers who looked at it and saw Joshua leading them to the Promised Land.
Axtel Erlandson was impressed with the grafting process and used it to braid sycamore saplings together. Depending on the source, the Sycamore can signify everything from dejected lovers to strength, curiosity and more. Then there is the Oak, about which so much is written. Perhaps one of the most important Oaks is the one on the Connecticut state quarter. Back when the King of England wanted to revoke the state’s charter, it was hidden in the tree for safe keeping.
When the oldest Oak tree in France was struck by lightening, they just couldn’t leave it alone. So they built a chapel in it and now it’s being held up by poles and cables.