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Quotations about Trees




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If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer.  But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.  ~Henry David Thoreau


You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night.  ~Denise Levertov


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


The trees are God's great alphabet:
With them He writes in shining green
Across the world His thoughts serene.
~Leonora Speyer


I never saw a discontented tree.  They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.  They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!  ~John Muir


Who leaves the pine-tree, leaves his friend,
Unnerves his strength, invites his end.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Woodnotes"


God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods.  But he cannot save them from fools.  ~John Muir


I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.  ~Willa Cather, 1913


Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing "Embraceable You" in spats.  ~Woody Allen


If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?  We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.  ~Jack Handey


I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.
~Ogden Nash, "Song of the Open Road," 1933


The groves were God's first temples.  ~William Cullen Bryant, "A Forest Hymn"


Trees are your best antiques.  ~Alexander Smith


A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship.  But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.  Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves.  No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.  ~John Muir


A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.  ~Welsh Proverb


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


There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.  ~Minnie Aumonier


It is difficult to realize how great a part of all that is cheerful and delightful in the recollections of our own life is associated with trees.  ~Wilson Flagg


And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.  ~William Shakespeare


We all travel the milky way together, trees and men... trees are travellers, in the ordinary sense.  They make journeys, not very extensive ones, it is true:  but our own little comes and goes are only little more than tree-wavings - many of them not so much.  ~John Muir, Scribner's Monthly, November 1878


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-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert


Alone with myself
The trees bend to caress me
The shade hugs my heart.
~Candy Polgar


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, 1982


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


He who plants a tree
Plants a hope.
~Lucy Larcom, "Plant a Tree"


Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.  ~George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists, 1903


Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.  ~J. Lubbock


Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
~Kahlil Gibran


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


Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree.  He doesn't eat much and doesn't read much, but listens well and is a most gracious host.  ~Astrid Alauda


The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods -
~Robert Frost


I willingly confess to so great a partiality for trees as tempts me to respect a man in exact proportion to his respect for them.  ~James Russell Lowell


The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.  ~Nelson Henderson


No town can fail of beauty, though its walks were gutters and its houses hovels, if venerable trees make magnificent colonnades along its streets.  ~Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs, 1887


Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.  ~Bill Vaughn


If I knew I should die tomorrow, I would plant a tree today.  ~Stephen Girard


Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.  ~Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies, 1928


The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in their way.  ~William Blake


Trees outstrip most people in the extent and depth of their work for the public good.  ~Sara Ebenreck, American Forests


Why are there trees I never walk under
But large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
~Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1892


The oaks and the pines, and their brethren of the wood, have seen so many suns rise and set, so many seasons come and go, and so many generations pass into silence, that we may well wonder what "the story of the trees" would be to us if they had tongues to tell it, or we ears fine enough to understand.  ~Author Unknown, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren, 1938


There are rich counsels in the trees.  ~Herbert P. Horne


God in the whizzing of a pleasant wind
Shall march upon the tops of mulberry trees.
~George Peele, David and Fair Bathsabe, 1599


We can learn a lot from trees:  they're always grounded but never stop reaching heavenward.  ~Everett Mámor


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


The best part of happiness is the pines.  ~The Quote Garden


Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.  ~Cree Indian Proverb


To heal mine aching moods,
Give me God's virgin woods.
~Clinton Scollard


Many people, other than the authors, contribute to the making of a book, from the first person who had the bright idea of alphabetic writing through the inventor of movable type to the lumberjacks who felled the trees that were pulped for its printing.  It is not customary to acknowledge the trees themselves, though their commitment is total.  ~Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning


Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.  ~John Muir


Oaks are the true conservatives;
They hold old leaves till summer gives
A green exchange.
~Roy Helton, Come Back to Earth


A tree never hits an automobile except in self defense.  ~American Proverb


Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed trees
Bending to counterfeit a breeze.
~James R. Russell


Trees are much like human beings and enjoy each other's company.  Only a few love to be alone.  ~Jens Jensen, Siftings, 1939


Newspapers:  dead trees with information smeared on them.  ~Horizon, "Electronic Frontier"


They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers.  ~James G. Watt, quoted in Newsweek, 8 March 1982


Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.  ~Henry David Thoreau, "Chesuncook," The Maine Woods, 1848


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


Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers - for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  ~Osho


Will urban sprawl spread so far that most people lose all touch with nature?  Will the day come when the only bird a typical American child ever sees is a canary in a pet shop window?  When the only wild animal he knows is a rat - glimpsed on a night drive through some city slum?  When the only tree he touches is the cleverly fabricated plastic evergreen that shades his gifts on Christmas morning?  ~Frank N. Ikard, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, Houston, March 1968


You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.  ~Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons, 1964


Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigor; but they grope ever upward towards consciousness; the trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, Second Series, 1844


Death is a low chemical trick played on everybody except sequoia trees.  ~J.J. Furnas


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


Climb a tree - it gets you closer to heaven.  ~Author Unknown


We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them.  We say we love trees, yet we cut them down.  And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved.  ~Author Unknown


Save a tree.  Eat a beaver.  ~Author Unknown


Bread and butter, devoid of charm in the drawing-room, is ambrosia eating under a tree.  ~Elizabeth Russell


As the poet said, "only God can make a tree" - probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.  ~Woody Allen


Acknowledgment:
Thanks to Michael P. Garofalo of The Spirit of Gardening
for sharing some of these wonderful quotes with me!


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Last modified 2007 Oct 12 Fri 12:47 PDT


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