Get Married – Plant a Tree

Did you know that newlyweds on Indonesia’s Java Island practice a centuries-old tradition of Planting trees during the wedding ceremony? The government encourages the ritual as a reforestation project. According to a CNN story, newly married couples must plant 10 trees and if they divorce they must plant 50 trees more.
Similarly, Scandinavians traditionally plant an evergreen near the front door of a bridal couple’s home as an investment in life and longevity. The evergreen is thought to give strength to the marriage.
I read this morning that the act of planting trees during a wedding event is actually quite trendy at the moment. (yeah for that!!) Which got me thinking about what couples should think about when choosing a symbolic wedding tree.

Indonesian wedding Photographer - www.hafizismail.com 2nd Photographer - www.aminrazali.net
Photographer – www.hafizismail.com
2nd Photographer – www.aminrazali.net

1) OK – to satisfy all the super serious gardeners…plant a regionally appropriate tree in a logical place for all good horticultural reasons (check with a local nursery or design pro for advice)…my point here is not to go into plant science…I want to talk more symbolically and design wise. Ok – that said…..

2) Consider where the couple is from and choose a tree that is significant to that heritage or that land of origin. Like and Oak Tree for English Descent, or a Palm Tree if from a tropical Place, or consider, a peach tree is a Chinese symbol of longevity.

peach tree chinese wedding tree

1. Vintage Spring Blossoms, 2. hand in hand

3) Plant the tree it in a place that you would revisit- it might not make sense to plant it outside your first apartment, once you move on, you may never go back.  Perhaps at a parents house, or a favorite destination or public park might be better options.  It is really satisfying to revisit an tree that you had a part in planting.

4) Consider choosing a variety of tree that blooms, or is for whatever reason, at its best right around your anniversary.  It might help to not forget the date.

5) Plant something rare or precious. It will catch the eye of others and will be memorable to more than just you.

6) Consider all sentimental reasons… perhaps tie the tree choice in with the colors of the wedding (a Ceanothus tree for a Blue themed wedding)  or significantly related to the location of the wedding (an apple tree for a wedding in the Big Apple).

apple blossoms ceanothus tree
1. the apple blossom, 2. Ceanothus arboreus flowers
7) Choose a favorite tree of a lost family member as a way to memorialize them.

I once planted trees for a client to celebrate each of three children.  As each child was at least a year old when we did it, we knew something of their personality, favorite colors and temperament.  We weighed all this for each choice.  What tree would you plant for your wedding or child?

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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3 Comments

  1. Sprout on May 21, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Ooh! I just this week tried to convince a bride to use tree/shrubs for her outdoor ceremony decor that they can then plant and enjoy after!

  2. Sheila H on May 22, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I recently planted a Magnolia tree in the Healing Garden/Labyrinth at a church in memory of one of the congregation member’s grandmother. I just randomly picked it. Lo and behold, the family was estastic with my choice as it turns out that their grandmother loved to watch Steel Magnolias movie. It was a running joke among the family members. The parish nurse told me the Lord must have guided my decision!

    I love tying in trees/plants that have special meanings for my clients. Thank you for sharing the tradition of planting trees for wedding/divorce.

  3. Lynn on May 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Thank you for your blog! I am so inspired by the beautiful images. Where do you find such wonderful things?

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