39 Tree Quotes to Make You Question Climate Change

For all you tree huggers, conservation lovers, polar-bear rooters, biodiversity respecters, climate-change u-turners, and advocates of all things natural, this line-up of pithy tree quotes is for you!

Trees have offered an artistic muse for centuries… but the current deforestation crisis is not only threatening to eliminate them, it’s threatening our planet’s existence.

So, pull one of these out of your pocket to share at just the right moment…

These 39 tree related quotes can come in handy, or simply provide food for thought about questioning climate change… and also for enjoying the world we live in.

Dogwoods blooming in early spring in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee.

Have You Heard of These Beautiful and Inspirational Tree Quotes?

These quotes will inspire you because they tap into the mysterious beauty, strength and loveliness that all trees possess, and their lyrical quality will paint images in your mind’s eye.

1. “I said to the almond tree, ‘Friend, speak to me of God,’ and the almond tree blossomed.”― Nikos Kazantzakis

2. “Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.”― Shira Tamir

3. “When trees burn, they leave the smell of heartbreak in the air.”― Jodi Thomas, Welcome to Harmony6

4. “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper, That we may record our emptiness.”― Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Trees are Art and Beauty and Poetry and Philosophy

Writer and painter Hermann Hesse understood the complexity of trees, and wrote with great insight about them.

5. “When we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.”― Hermann Hesse

6. Listen to this beautiful reading of Hermann Hesse’s Trees by Natascha McElhone—a reflection, a love song, and a celebration.

Poetry about Trees

As the poet’s muse, the tree plays many roles. Playful. Romantic. Abstract. Dark. The tree breathes life into the poet’s words and can be the channel for our humanity. Let your mind take flight with these poems about trees.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening3

 

Trees

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, Trees8

Inspired Reflection Quotes to Brighten Your Day

Psychologists say that trees and nature, in general, can be good for mental health, but perhaps it extends beyond that. Scientific American reported on research that took images from space and analyzed the information with tree density and self-reported health data. The study determined that citizens who lived in areas with a higher number of trees perceived that they were healthier!2

But, you probably weren’t surprised. Scientists agree that climate change is directly related to the destruction of forests (which store and remove CO2 from the atmosphere). So it makes sense that where higher concentrations of trees exist, cleaner air (and greater beauty) may promote enhanced well-being. That is why scientists and organizations are working hard to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Natural Beauty Quotes: Tree of Life Quotes, Famous Quotes About Trees, and Tree of Life Sayings

From ancient proverbs to modern poetry, the contemplation of trees has inspired wisdom for the ages. The sayings about trees have stood the test of time to help reveal the quality of human nature.

7. “I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred
Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.” -Crazy Horse

8. “Each day is a branch of the Tree of Life laden heavily with fruit. If we lie down lazily beneath it,
we may starve; but if we shake the branches, some of the fruit will fall for us.”― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

9. “Sorrow is knowledge, those that know the most must mourn the deepest, the tree of knowledge is not the tree of life.”― Lord Byron7

10. “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”― Proverbs 15:44

Tree Planting Quotes

There is so much possibility in the promise of a seed. Great Sequoia Redwood seeds, for example, are the “size of a pinhead,” according to the National Parks Service. The largest sequoia, named General Sherman, is the largest tree in the world, measuring around 275-feet tall and 36-feet in diameter. These wonderful old grandmasters of the tree world can live to be over 3,000 years old!

Giant Sequoia, the largest in the world, with sun touching the top at Sequoia National Park, California.

If you ever find yourself discouraged about the problem of climate change and think it’s too big for one person to tackle, remember the trees! Each of these uniquely wonderful plants plays a key part in the health of the planet, and even planting one tree can make a difference

 

11. “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

12. “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second-best time is now.”― Chinese proverb

13. “One generation plants the trees. Another gets the shade.”― Chinese proverb

14.“The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.”―Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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

16. “Reversing deforestation is complicated; planting a tree is simple.”― Martin O’Malley

17. “You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let’s give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.”― Bob Ross5

Only God Can Make a Tree: How Trees Are Linked To Religions

Trees play an important role in sacred religious texts and traditions. The creation story in the Judeo-Christian tradition centers on eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, banishing Adam and Eve forever from the Garden of Eden. The Buddha sat under a Bodhi tree and became enlightened. Many Hindus believe that the Buddha was the incarnation of the god Vishnu and so, the tree likewise figures prominently in the Hindu faith.1 Islam has a Tree of Immortality in the Quran. The human race is blessed by trees. They have been a symbol of our very creation, spiritual growth, and of life itself for thousands of years.

18. “But I am like the green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever”― Psalm 52:8

19. “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 activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe-man who destroys it.”― Gautama Buddha

20. “You need to prune the tree otherwise it goes here and there. So prune all that, and know that your origin is somewhere up.”― From the Bhagavad Ghita, Chapter 15 verse 3

21. “The groves were God’s first temples.”― William Cullen Bryant, A Forest Hymn

Obscure Tree Facts

How well do you know your tree neighbors? They are quite amazing. For instance, trees can actually communicate with one another! In one Yale study, researchers learned that trees use fungi to send chemical messages and nutrients to one another. Another fun fact is that forests don’t only provide us with clean air, they provide clean water, too. They are nature’s water filter!

One thing that’s helpful to know when you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint: you can conserve energy by strategically planting trees around your home—the right kind of tree in the right place can do wonders for your wallet as well as the environment. Check out this video from Texas A&M to learn more:

Good for a Laugh

Have you ever wondered who was feeding your Dad his best Dad-joke lines? Since trees can be very punny, perhaps they were whispering them in his ear. Here are just a few to bark about:

22. “Let’s make like a tree and leave.”–Unknown

23. Q: “How do trees use the Internet?”
A: “They log in”–Unknown

24. Q: “What did the tree do when the bank closed?
A: “It started its own branch”– Unknown

Check Out These Tree Sayings and Palm Tree Quotes

Palm trees elicit visions of sunsets, sandy beaches, and warm climates, but these beautiful trees are being overharvested by the popularity of palm oil products. The next time you go shopping for beauty products, double-check to make sure that palm oil isn’t used… and in the meanwhile, check out these great quotes:

25. “Some beach / Somewhere / There’s a big umbrella casting shade over an empty chair / Palm trees are growin’ and a warm breeze a blowing / I picture myself right there / On some beach, somewhere.”– Blake Shelton

26. “See me sitting in the palm tree looking down at people passing by / Here no one can harm me”– ABBA

27. “I suddenly realized I was in California. Warm, palmy air – air you can kiss – and palms.”― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Tree quotes can also provide food for thought. What do you think these great quotes are saying?

28. “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”– William Blake

29. “Moments like this are buds on the tree of life. Flowers of darkness they are.”– Virginia Woolf

30. “All our wisdom is stored in the trees.”― Santosh Kalwar

Earth Quotes and Forest Quotes: What We Do to the Environment We Do to Ourselves

We are all connected, even with the trees. When we hurt our environment, we hurt ourselves, too. These quotes reflect the sentiment that we are one world.

31. “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”― Cree Proverb

32. “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”― Franklin D. Roosevelt

33. “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.”― Chris Maser

34. “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

35. “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”― John Muir

36. “In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.”― Paulo Coelho, Aleph

Crystal clear stream with large rocks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Oh, the beautiful trees! Quotes about trees, life, leaves and roots. There are so many quotes out there about pines and oaks, or love and family. There are Sitting Bull quotes to warm your soul, and quotes that will make you grow (Shel Silverstein’s book, The Giving Tree). There are tree removal quotes and even a tree branch quote or two. There are Christmas and fish in a tree quotes, too! There are tree poems of every sort, including for children.

Touching Tree Related Quotes

Last but far from least, these beautiful quotes will touch your heart.

37. “Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.”― Herman Hesse

38. “Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?”― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

39. “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”― Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s sad to think that somewhere along the way, humans forgot about how important living trees are to our planet, over-consuming them, and abusing the environment through deforestation. At 8 Billion Trees, our mission is dedicated to protecting, planting, and nurturing trees…  because we know that life on earth is imperiled without them.9

To learn more about tree planting projects and other organizations that provide quality carbon offsets. You can check out our favorite companies that are making a difference here.


References

1Denyer, S. (2008, February 4). Scandal gnaws at Buddha’s holy tree in India. Retrieved May 22, 2021, from Reuters.com.

2Earth Talk. (2015, July 20). Does Being around Trees Help People Feel Good? Retrieved May 20, 2021, from Scientificamerican.com: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-being-around-trees-help-people-feel-good/

3Frost, R. (2021). Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Retrieved 20 2021, May , from Poetryfoundation.org: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42891/stopping-by-woods-on-a-snowy-evening

4German Bible Society. (2021). Proverbs. Retrieved May 20, 2021, from Academic-bible.com: https://www.academic-bible.com/en/online-bibles/english-standard-version/read-the-bible-text/bibelstelle/proverbs%2015%3A4/bibel/text/lesen/ch/9093d0d376a9f98c0c23a29c3543fe30/

5Goodreads, Inc. (2021). Bob Ross Quotes. Retrieved May 22, 2021, from Goodreads.com: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9065045-you-know-me-i-think-there-ought-to-be-a

6Goodreads, Inc. (2021). Jodi Thomas Qoutes. Retrieved May 20, 2021, from Goodreads.com: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/316390-when-trees-burn-they-leave-the-smell-of-heartbreak-in

7Goodreads, Inc. (2021). Lord Byron Quotes. Retrieved May 20, 2021, from Goodreads.com: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/56588-sorrow-is-knowledge-those-that-know-the-most-must-mourn

8Kilmer, J. (2021). Trees. Retrieved May 20, 2021, from Poetryfoundation.org: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/12744/trees

9Nuwer, R. (2019, September 12). What would happen if all the world’s trees disappeared? Retrieved May 22, 2021, from BBC.com: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190911-what-would-happen-if-all-the-worlds-trees-disappeared