Trees, as well as tree tattoos, have a variety of meanings and for many different reasons. Most trees have a general symbolic meaning of regeneration and rejuvenation. They are solid reminders of the circle of life as they represent the cycles of the seasons through the beauty of change in autumn and the way they’re able to survive the hard, cold, barren months of winter only to thrive and give way to new life with the warmth of spring. Likewise, tree tattoos can represent change or personal growth, but they also have an enormous amount of symbolism connected to culture, history and religion. For example, all trees are considered to be sacred to the Druids since they deeply believe that each has its own spirit, personality and meaning. Buddha is said to have found enlightenment in his long meditation under the branches of the bodhi tree.
In many cultures tree tattoos are considered to be sacred and therefore is reserved for only people of noble birth. The Celts believed that trees had spirits and were living beings. The mythical Tree of Life is believed to grant eternal youth and power and that anyone who drinks the sap from it will live forever and reign supreme.
Today, tree tattoos retain much of their symbolic and religious meaning for individuals. They are among the most versatile tattoo styles because of the sheer variety of trees and their diverse shapes, colors and sizes to choose from. Tree tattoos can easily be mixed with other themes and designs, particularly those incorporating natural elements such as stars, moons, water and other plants.
Where to Place Tree Tattoos
Tree tattoos can be placed virtually anywhere on the body. For smaller designs, some of the most popular locations are the wrist, foot, ankle and neck areas. For larger designs, the entire back, lower back, calf, bicep, forearm and stomach areas are all popular choices.
Tree Tattoos for Women
Some of the most popular tree tattoos for women include oak trees and cherry blossom trees—both beautiful choices. Oak trees are usually drawn up in realistic styles with dark shades of green and brown with outward stretching branches showing off a tree’s brilliance. Whether this tree is tattooed with an abundance of leaves or just a few is a personal and meaningful choice for the individual.
Cherry blossom trees are known for their exquisite beauty and timeless grace. The Chinese associate cherry blossoms with femininity, making this a natural tattoo choice for many women. When drawn to follow the natural curves of a woman’s body, tree tattoos take on seductive and intriguing lives of their own.
Tree Tattoos for Men
For men, tree tattoos featuring tribal patterns are highly sought after design styles, as are the darker, more macabre looking designs such as old, knotted trees with intricate roots. These masculine tattoos generally portray a sense of strength and wisdom.
Meanings of Trees Tattoos
Below is a list of the most commonly used trees in tree tattoo designs and their meanings:
Apple Tree: temptation, magic, youth, beauty, happiness, knowledge and learning
Ash Tree: greatness, sacrifice, sensitivity, enlightenment, and spiritual awareness
Aspen Tree: determination, conquering fear, lamentation, mourning and commitment
Bay Tree: glory, reward, honor and deserved riches
Beech tree: prosperity, understanding, knowledge, acceptance and patience
Birch Tree: rebirth, beginnings, cleansing and renewal
Bodhi Tree: joy, luck, hope, peace, patience, innocence, charm, brilliance, preservation, tranquility, sustainment and enlightenment
Bonsai Tree: harmony, peace, balance and all that is good
Cedar Tree: Incorruptibility, protection, consistency, love and healing
Cherry Tree: renewal, reawakening, new life, change, beauty and sexuality
Cypress Tree: mourning, death, sorrow, acceptance and sacrifice
Elder Tree: compassion, excitement, renewal, regeneration, whimsical and fantasy
Elm Tree: dignity, intuitiveness, instinct, commitment and perseverance
Hawthorn Tree: contentment, happiness, hope and the future
Hazel Tree: hidden wisdom and divination
Holly Tree: protection, overcoming of anger, spirituality and faithfulness
Laurel Tree: deception, eloquence, tenacity, victory, heroism, success and dignity
Linden Tree: monogamy, marriage and love
Maple Tree: balance, promise, practicality and harmony
Oak Tree: endurance, victory, strength, independence and liberty
Palm Tree: peacefulness, opportunity, spirituality and contentment
Tree Of Life: birth, rebirth, death, resurrection and immortality
Willow Tree: magic, healing, inner vision, mysticism and dreams
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