It is tough to imagine life on earth without trees because they play a major role in making the atmosphere breathable for mankind. Thus, although many tend to take them for granted, trees are pretty important for the world and for all living creatures out there. Beyond that, if you are looking to get inked, trees are a good choice for your next tattoo design.
Tree tattoos are not just a beautiful sign to choose for your next inking session, but it also stands for something vital, the earth. Even if you are not a nature lover, getting a tree tattoo can be a symbol of life. In fact, many different meanings can be associated with the tree, and this might convince you to get this design for your first (or next) birthday parties.
Trees In Different Cultures
The most common meaning of a tree is life, with the different parts having their own use and purpose. For example, the roots represent a strong foundation and the trunk corresponds to resilience as it keeps the whole tree standing tall despite strong weather conditions. However, they might have extended meanings or symbolism in other cultures.
Trees have an important role in Egyptian culture and mythology. They are seen as a symbol of life and death.
The tree of life is hugely valued by the Chinese because it is where the dragon and the Phoenix (which represent the soul and resurrection) reside.
The tree is the ultimate provider, giving people their food, shelter, as well as warmth. Thus, it symbolizes the tree of life.
Christians consider trees as the representation of humanity in its pure form and free of sin. The tree plays a role as healer to men, restoring them from sinners into cleansed believers.
Trees are also of high significance in the Buddhist religion because this is where Buddha found enlightenment while staying under a Bodhi tree. This is why Buddhists choose to have this particular design for their tattoos.
Meanings Of Tree Tattoos
Tree tattoos can come in literally all most types and colors, reflecting the rich variety out there in reality. Every kind can have its own symbolism. Some tattoos also choose to feature other parts of the tree, like the trunk, the roots, or the leaves. The choice of certain parts to feature will influence what meaning the owner prefers to focus on.
The easiest and most obvious significance of the roots is the foundation, as, without them, the tree can simply topple down without it. Thus, people who have tree tattoos with extensive roots represent the person being strong and well-grounded. Another way to interpret roots is being connected to the past, meaning those who have it feel very deeply connected to their family, ancestors or family honor.
In temperate climates, trees go through the cycle of death and rebirth every single time the season changes. When spring comes and new leaves come out, it can be seen as a sign of rebirth and growth. However, this can be interpreted a different way, with the yearly shedding a sign of the old making way for new things.
The detail of the leaves is also important. Young and fresh leaves will stand for growth and older ones highlighting the person’s age or maturity. Decaying leaves are less featured as it is seen to stand for death or dying.
Flowers are without a doubt the most colorful and figurative part of tree tattoos. When they are in bloom, it can be interpreted as the blossoming of a girl into a woman, or her sexual awakening. On the other hand, flowers themselves are seen as innocent, tranquil, and untouched. Thus, it represents young women.
Beyond that, flowers can represent bounty (because they eventually evolve into fruit) but also remind people of the transient nature of life.
Some tree tattoos do not feature lush green foliage for a reason. Bare branches are sometimes chosen by customers, possibly to represent a family member for every branch like a family tree. On the other hand, olive branches mean an attempt to repair any broken relationship and the desire for peace.
Tree tattoos can also symbolize cycles, seasons, or stages of life and having a tattoo in any one of these seasons has its meaning. For example, a tree with buds is about youth while bare branches represent old age.
Kinds Of Tree Tattoos
Each tree out there in the world is different from others, and they would also affect the meanings that they have. This is one of the main reasons why tree tattoos are hugely popular because it is not one-size-fits-all. Whatever design you are interested in, whatever your message is, and whichever tree you choose, you will find the right tree tattoo for you. Another great thing about them is that they are timeless and a classic choice for tattoo designs, so that 20 years after getting inked, you will still have a beautiful and elegant tattoo on your body.
Below is a list of the most common trees you can choose from for your tree tattoo.
Tree Of Life Tattoos
The most common design is the tree of life, and it is suitable for both men and women. However, there is no special kind of tree that is used for this kind of design. Instead, this is a key design that they contain so much meaning. Basically, the tree represents human life but it might also be a metaphor that talks about the relationship between man and the natural world around him, which includes every living creature like trees. The tree of life tattoo usually shows every single part of the tree, including the roots, the branches, and the leaves. Its design in itself is beautiful and simple and at most, some bird silhouettes are added for a more interesting storyline or a more complete picture.
Cypress Tree Tattoos
The Mediterranean Cypress Tree is normally used in this kind of tattoo design. This kind of tree is mostly seen in cemeteries or graveyards. This is why, from the ancient times to the present, the cypress tree has been a symbol of loss, of grief and of mourning. This tree is tall but does not have a wide trunk like other kinds of trees. The Cypress Tree also stands for death, because it is unable to regenerate when it is harshly cut down. But this does not only have such negative associations as it actually also represents longevity, thanks to its extremely long life that may even span a thousand years.
Birch Tree Tattoos
This is another well-loved design, adored by a number of different cultures. This is because this kind of tree symbolizes rejuvenation and renewal, new beginnings, or fresh starts. This meaning is associated with the birch tree because it can easily occupy land that has been once barren of has seen its share of terrible natural disasters. They grow very quickly and fill out an empty strip of land with new and healthy trees, eventually providing local wildlife some shelter.
Birch trees may also grow everywhere, no matter what kind of soil there is and thus can survive in any corner of the world. They can even thrive where no other trees would be able to. This is why having a birch tree tattoo represents being able to survive in new and strange places, having the flexibility and the boldness to go where no one else has been to. It means you can follow the path less traveled and have no fear of being different.
Willow Tree Tattoos
This is another well-loved kind of tree used for tree tattoos, because of its majesty and the long list of meanings that can be associated with it. The willow tree itself symbolizes literature, mythology, and the memorialization of departed loved ones. This is why some designs include a name or text to add to its meaning.
The willow tree is strong and thus, it is chosen by those who want to signify strength and resilience to withstand even the strongest storm without even making a budge. This is why symbolically, it represents conviction and determination of the person.
Lastly, this design is highly prized by those who were born in the British Isles, as it is a symbol they wear around to show their roots. The symbol of the willow tree itself is quite important in Celtic Mythology.
Palm Tree Tattoos
The palm tree looks distinct and its design is popular and highly favored. It is aesthetically pleasing due to its delicate appearance as well as the elongated structure. It is quite suitable to be used as a tattoo design for body parts like the arms and the legs.
The palm tree symbolizes harmony and peace, perhaps because it is found in the quiet beachfront where one can reflect and relax away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. It suits people who have a heart and personality as delicate as this tree. Thus, this design is more popular with women customers. It also helps that a palm tree tattoo looks great on any long part of the body.
Cherry Blossom Tree Tattoos
The Sakura, or the Asian cherry blossom tree, is without a doubt one of the most amazing and popular tree designs. Like the tree of life, it represents the beauty of the life cycle. The bright pink flowers from cherry blossom trees are often drawn with intricate designs and this painstaking work will yield an eye-catching tattoo in the end.
The Japanese culture places a lot of high value on their sakura tree design, specifically because it marks the end of a long and cold winter. It jumpstarts the blooming of the trees and flowers all over, which is why it represents life. Choosing this tattoo is a great idea because of the aesthetic value of the design itself and the very positive outlook it symbolizes for the wearer.
Oak Tree Tattoos
The oak tree is a symbol of strength, stability, and bravery. With these characteristics, one can easily achieve victory and receive glory. Beyond that, it will represent wisdom, as well as spirituality and patience. It is also a sacred tree in a few ancient religions, which is why it is a highly regarded design overall, not just for tattoos.
Dead Tree Tattoos
The dead tree tattoo is ideal for those who have lost loved ones and want to honor their legacy by getting inked. It also represents their mourning and grief. This kind of tattoo design is mostly done on the back and may include some other dark elements like a raven, a skull, a wolf, or a lion.
Leaves are an important part of the tree and can be used as a design for a tattoo. On its own, it represents fertility and growth, as well as happiness. Various kinds of leaves will also affect the meaning. For example, ivy leaves will denote friendship, while birch trees will mean purification and bay leaves are related to healing.
Leaf tattoo designs can vary between one single leaf or a bunch of tree leaves, and this can be decided by you based on preferences or interest.
Family Tree Tattoos
Another good idea for a tree tattoo is the family tree, well-loved by people dedicated to their loved ones. It is a sign of love and respect for family and many also include the names of their partners and children.
Where You Can Have Your Tree Tattoo Placed?
Once you have decided on the kind of tree tattoo for your body, the next step is to design the placing of the tattoo on your body. Placing it somewhere visible can make it possible to convey its meaning or symbolism easily. Whether you are male or female, the best place to have your tree tattoo is on your arms or shoulders. It will make the design look vibrant and bold and it is the perfect spot for an elongated design like a tree tattoo. Moreover, these locations will make it possible for you to show off the tattoo without showing too much skin and when necessary, it can still be covered up.
Here are also other places where you can have a tree tattoo done.
This is another good place for your tree tattoo, especially if you are a man. It is also a possible position for women who are not very conservative. This location is sexier and glamorous. Plus, because it is placed near the heart, it demonstrates your love for your tattoo.
Much like the arms, the legs are elongated, making them ideal locations for a tree tattoo. It might not be as visible as in the arm, but it is still a good option for those who want to be able to fully cover it up when necessary.
There are tree tattoo designs that require more space, especially when there are elaborate branches and roots. In this case, you might want to opt to have it done on your back, where there is enough space for such an elaborate tattoo. At the same time, the flat and wide space makes it easy for the tattoo artist to ink you.
Like the legs, the thighs are a great spot for tree tattoos due to them being elongated as well. The advantage over the legs is that it is wider and will have less hair growing on this part.
How Much Will My Tree Tattoo Cost?
If you are looking for a tree tattoo design, you can expect it to cost a minimum of $50, with the price possibly coming up to $350. The cost will depend on some factors, with the size of the tattoo design being the first. A small tattoo is understandably cheaper because of the less work and ink required. For something bigger and with more intricate details, you will need to pay more. Some artists may also charge per hour, so the cost will depend on how long it will take to finish the tattoo. This means, if it is more detailed than others, you will have to pay more.
Planning And Preparing For Your Tree Tattoo
Tree tattoos are a beautiful addition to your body and this is why lots of people have chosen this design. The symbolism and meanings also add depth to your new tattoo, and there is certainly an almost infinite list of designs to choose from. Before sitting on that tattoo artist’s chair to get inked, make sure you take the following steps to plan and prepare for your new tree tattoo.
Do Your Research
While tattoo removal can be done nowadays, it is not as easy nor cheap. The best way to avoid having the need for it is to avoid choosing the wrong design that you will regret at some point. Do your research on designs, make sure you understand the meanings of the kind of tree or design you are interested in. The last thing you want is to have it done and then find out much later that the symbolism was not exactly what you thought of in the first place.
Make Up Your Mind
The idea of getting a tattoo is tempting for a lot of people but while they might want a tattoo at some point, some might end up regretting it in the future. The most important thing is to be sure about it and not do it out of simple impulse. The tattoos will last for the rest of your life and will stay on your body until you have it professionally removed.
Talk To A Tattoo Artist About The Design
There are tons of ideas and inspiration out there, and choosing one can be a lengthy and different process. You might become overwhelmed to discover how many there are to choose from. At the same time, you can have one specifically designed or edited to suit your preferences. The best thing to finalize a design is to talk to your tattoo artist, explain what your vision is and work together to create the perfect tree tattoo for you.
Choose Something Timeless
Trends come and go, and as much as you are tempted to jump in on the trend, this is not always the best idea. It might look cool now but your tattoo might look strange and dorky at some point. The best thing to do is to choose a design that will not get outdated easily, and there are tons of designs out there that will look good and in-style even after 20 years.
Learn About Proper Tattoo Aftercare
There are things to do and not to do after getting a tattoo so that the design does not get damaged and that it can last a long time after. The first thing to do is to wash it a few hours after getting inked. Do it gently so that the skin does not get irritated, which will make the tattoo longer to heal. Anti-bacterial cream is also a good idea to help in your recovery. Make sure you also avoid overexposing the tattoo to the harmful rays of the sun while it is still healing. Otherwise, you might see it fading easily or turn into a nasty scar.
A tree tattoo is a beautiful and intricate design that has a lot of symbolism to it, and thanks to the long list of tree designs available, you can surely find the right design for you. By doing the right research on the design of the tree tattoo, you will have one that has the right symbolism as well.