How often have you seen it? Two sets of initials, and a heart, carved into a tree.
Just the sight of it brings to mind so many memories; both your own and the unknown memories of the one that left that timeless inscription.
Who were those two faceless lovebirds? Did they ever come back to this place to visit again this herald of their affections.
Or maybe… it’s the record of love hoped for, engraved by a lonely heart, wishing for what could be.
How is it that trees are so often interwoven with our earliest memories of love? Perhaps it has to do with the sentiment we feel towards the trees themselves.
As prevalent as the imagery of hearts, silently cut into the bark of a tree, so is the portrait of the classic “tree huger”.
To the great tree-loving fraternity we belong. We love trees with universal and unfeigned love, and all things that do grow under them or around them — the whole leaf and root tribe. ~Henry Ward Beecher
I LOVE A TREE
When I pass to my reward.
Whatever that may be,
I’d like my friends to think of me
As one who loved a tree.
I may not have a statesman’s poise
Nor thrill a throng with speech
But I may benefit mankind
If I set out a beech.
If I transport a sapling oak
To rear its mighty head
Twill make for them a childhood shrine,
That will not soon decay.
Of if I plant a tree with fruit,
On which the birds may feed,
Then I have fostered feathered friends
And that’s a worthy deed.
For winter when the days grow short
And spirits may run low
I’d plant a pine upon the scape
T’would lend a cheery glow.
I’d like a tree to mark the spot
Where I am laid to rest
For that would be the epitaph
That I would like the best.
Tho it’s not carved upon a stone
For those who come to see
But friends would know that resting there
Is he, who loved a tree
— Samuel N. Baxter
Share your tree love story with us below! <3
Nobody knew I was visually impaired as a kid, I didn’t even get glasses until junior high. Still I would not be deterred when my older cousin suggested we build a tree house. Everyone climbed trees back then, and country living made it even more common. I use the term ‘tree house’ loosely, it was really just 2 girls forcing some wooden planks between branches to be seats and shelves. I doubt we used more than a dozen nails. I do vividly remember not being able to quite see where I was climbing, and had a few close calls. I learned to appreciate the safety and the stability of the tree, and the possible danger of the height. More than anything, I learned to have great fun with nature and a close cousin.
Gardening Jones, I am glad that you made it through those early (blurry)tree climbing experiences. As a child I too loved climbing. I spent a good deal of my time up in a tree of one sort or another. So I guess I never grew out of it and here I am, an arborist, still climbing trees.
I do love trees. Imagine how dreary and dull this planet would be without them. Shade in the summer, clambering for kids, shelter for lovers. Even my dog would be lost without the joy of a tree trunk for leg-lifting! Aren’t we lucky we live on a planet with trees.
Lucky indeed Jane! Not to mention food from the fruit and seeds; medicine from the leaves; Oxygen from the photosynthesis; warmth from the firewood; building materials. The list of what trees give to us could go on and on!
You got me with this post — a love song to trees. I feel the same way, and my modest efforts planting trees on my small plot are like a miracle to me, and immensely rewarding. I can grow that : )
Hi Laurrie. With every thing that trees provide for the whole natural world ,every tree planted is like a love song to the rest of creation. I thank you for every tree that you’ve planted over there on your “small plot” in Connecticut.
What a great story, I grew up in the city and did not have a connection to tree’s. Around my 20th birthday I got my first pair of glasses and the first thing I noticed were the individual leaves on the tree’s outside. They were so beautiful! Now we have all this space and I can’t wait to start planting trees, first the ones that provide us with food and then the ones that are just beautiful, there is so much choice!!
When I was little, we had an enormous weeping willow in our backyard. I loved that tree–I would hide under it and read books all day. Then, when I turned 9, my parents had the tree cut down–it’s roots became entangled with our sewer system or something like that. I was devastated. I don’t think I spoke to my parents for a week. When our children were born, we planted a birthday tree for each child. It’s amazing how often we find our kids up in their trees. (Your photos are just lovely.)
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Sincerely, a tree hugger!
I adore this! Trees are majestic in all their glory! Love carvings intertwined to last a lifetime!
What beautiful memories. To revisit those years of innocent and pure love would be amazing!
This is such an iconic thought in the world of trees. I love how well you put this article together. Enjoyed the read very much, thank you!
This poem is wonderful. Thanks for the article, it makes me think of how important trees are now more than ever for the environment.