Tree Quotes


“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”


“Man shapes himself through decisions that shape his environment.”

Rene Dubos

“We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

Aldo Leopold

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

John Muir

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

Albert Camus

“My heart is glad, my heart is high
With sudden ecstasy;
I have given back, before I die,
Some thanks for every lovely tree
That dead men grew for me.”

V.H. Friedlaender

“October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.””

Nova Bair

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of a garden.”

Thomas Jefferson

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

Albert Einstein

“If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree.”

W. B. Yeats

“…every year one day comes, when, although there is no obvious change in the appearance of trees and hedges, the Earth seems to breathe and it is spring.”

Elizabeth Clarke, The Darkening Green

“What did the tree learn from the earth to be able to talk with the sky?”

Pablo Neruda

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.”

William Blake, 1799, The Letters

“Though a tree grows so high, the falling leaves return to the root.”

Malay proverb

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.”

Chinese proverb

“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.”

Willa Cather (1873-1947), O Pioneers 1913

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If a tree dies, plant another in its place.”


“A tree which has lost its head will never recover it again, and will survive only as a monument of the ignorance and folly of its Tormentor.”

George William Curtis

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

John Muir

“A tree falls the way it leans.”

Bulgarian proverb

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Other holidays repose on the past. Arbor Day proposes the future.”

J. Sterling Morton

“I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.”

Henry David Thoreau, 1817 – 1862

“Do not be afraid to go out on a limb…That’s where the fruit is.”


“Of the infinite variety of fruits which spring from the bosom of the earth, the trees of the wood are the greatest in dignity.”

Susan Fenimore Cooper

“People in suburbia see trees differently than foresters do. They cherish every one. It is useless to speak of the probability that a certain tree will die when the tree is in someone’s backyard…You are talking about a personal asset, a friend, a monument, not about board feet of lumber.”

Roger Swain

“A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.”

Welsh proverb

“And see the peaceful trees extend their myriad leaves in leisured dance—they bear the weight of sky and cloud upon the fountain of their veins.”

Kathleen Raine, Envoi

“Oak trees come out of acorns, no matter how unlikely that seems. An acorn is just a tree’s way back into the ground. For another try. Another trip through. One life for another.”

Shirley Ann Grau

“There is, I conceive, scarcely any tree that may not be advantageously used in the various combinations of form and color.”


“Alone with myself
The trees bend to caress me
The shade hugs my heart”

Candy Polgar

“Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.”

Chinese Proverb

“Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”

Bill Vaughan

“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”

Hal Borland, Countryman: A Summer of Belief

“Life without love is like a tree without blossom and fruit.”

Khalil Gibran

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”

Helen Keller

“In creating, the only hard thing’s to begin; a grass-blade’s no easier to make than an oak.”

James Russell Lowell

“That each day I may walk unceasingly on the banks of my water, that my soul may repose on the branches of the trees which I planted, that I may refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore.”

Egyptian tomb inscription, circa 1400 BC

“Because they are primeval, because they outlive us, because they are fixed, trees seem to emanate a sense of permanence. And though rooted in earth, they seem to touch the sky. For these reasons it is natural to feel we might learn wisdom from them, to haunt about them with the idea that if we could only read their silent riddle rightly we should learn some secret vital to our own lives; or even, more specifically, some secret vital to our real, our lasting and spiritual existence.”

Kim Taplin, Tongues in Trees

“A tree does not move unless there is wind.”

Afghan Proverb

“This solitary Tree! a living thing
Produced too slowly ever to decay;
Of form and aspect too magnificent
To be destroyed.”

William Wordsworth, Yardley Oak

“Time-honored, beautiful, solemn and wise.
Noble, sacred and ancient
Trees reach the highest heavens and penetrate the deepest secrets of the earth.
Trees are the largest living beings on this planet.
Trees are in communion with the spiritual and the material.
Trees guard the forests and the sanctified places that must not be spoiled.
Trees watch over us and provide us with what we need to live on this planet.
Trees provide a focal point for meditation, enlightenment, guidance and inspiration.
Trees have a soul and a spirit.”

Tree Magick by Lavenderwater

“To be able to walk under the branches of a tree that you have planted is really to feel you have arrived with your garden. So far we are on the way: we can now stand beside ours.”

Mirabel Osler

“Trees are the best monuments that a man can erect to his own memory. They speak his praises without flattery, and they are blessings to children yet unborn.”

Lord Orrery, 1749

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Warren Buffett

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”


“The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

Abraham Lincoln

“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.”

Lucy Larcom, Plant a Tree

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

Greek Proverb

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”

Hermann Hesse, Wandering

“May my life be like a great hospitable tree, and may weary wanderers find in me a rest.”

John Henry Jowett

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”

Martin Luther

“Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend, unnerves his strength, invites his end.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Woodnotes”

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

Nelson Henderson

“If I knew I should die tomorrow, I would plant a tree today.”

Stephen Girard

“It is well that you should celebrate your Arbor Day thoughtfully, for within your lifetime the nation’s need of trees will become serious. We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1907 Arbor Day Message

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

“Trees are much like human beings and enjoy each other’s company. Only a few love to be alone.”

Jens Jensen, Siftings, 1939

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”

Joyce Kilmer, “Trees,” 1914

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.”

Buddhist Sutra

“You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.”

St. Bernard

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”

Kahlil Gibran

“The greatest gift of the garden in the restoration of the five senses.”

Hanna Rion

“No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.”

Hugh Johnson

“I have grown taller from walking with the trees…”

Karle Wilson Baker

“A tree is beautiful, but what’s more, it has a right to life; like water, the sun and the stars, it is essential. Life on earth is inconceivable without trees.”

Anton Chekhov

“Hope is the tree that holds the world”

Pliny, the Elder

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”

Gerard De Narval

“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased; and not impaired in value.”

Theodore Roosevelt

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