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Favorite Tree Quotes
“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.”
“We plant trees not for ourselves, but for the future generations.”
-Caecilius Statius, 220-168 B.C.
“From the forest and wilderness come the tonics and bark which brace mankind…A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it…”
-Henry David Thoreau
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
“Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of bright torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
-George Bernard Shaw
“The planting of a tree is a modest form of immortality and one of the few truly long-term expressions of hope to mortal human beings.”
“The wrong done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.”
“You can gauge a country’s wealth, its real wealth, by its tree cover.”
-Richard St. Barbe Baker
“We did not inherit the land from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.”
“No man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.”
-George Bernard Shaw
“Each tree is like a soul opening out to nature, and thus appreciate tiny saplings and mighty oaks alike.”
“We are like trees; we must create new leaves, new directions, in order to grow.”
“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”
“To plant trees is to give body and life to one’s dreams of a better world.”
“Trees can’t talk, but they can tell us a lot about our past, our present, and our future—if we just listen.”
“Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.”
“Trees are a conversation piece; planting them makes people talk, and it calms them down.”
“Planting a tree is only the beginning.”
-Charlie Terrell, volunteer
“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.”
“A man does not plant a tree for himself, he plants it for posterity.”
“Given a limited budget, the most effective expenditure of funds to improve a street would probably be on trees.”
“Conservation must spring from a conviction of what is ethically and esthetically right as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right only when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the community and that community includes the soil, waters, fauna and flora as well as people.”
“Plant a memory, plant a tree, do it today for tomorrow.”
“People can be divided into three groups; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
-Nicholas Murray Butler
“Nothing great was ever great without enthusiasm.”
“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.”
“Parvis e glandibus quercus (Tall oaks from little acorns grow)”
Examples of early variants of 'mighty oaks from little acorns grow' are found in Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, 1374, "as an ook cometh of a litel spyr" [a spyr, or spire, is a sapling]
Thomas Fuller's Gnomologia, 1732: "The greatest Oaks have been little Acorns."
and in an essay by D. Everett in The Columbian Orator, 1797:
"Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow." -- http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/247100.html
“Suburbia; where they tear out the trees and name streets after ‘em.”
“Today I stood taller from walking among the trees.”
“The planting of trees is the least self centered of all that we do. It is a purer act of faith than the procreation of children.”
“If you wish to be happy for a year, plant a garden. If you wish to be happy for a lifetime, plant a tree.”
“If the nation saves the trees, the trees will save the nation.”
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it “the present”.
“We see possibilities in others, but do we ever dream of the possibilities within our selves?”
“It is also known that the morals of a community are in direct relation to its environment.”
“People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world which cannot sustain people.”
“If your project is for a year, sow a seed.
If it is for ten years, plant a tree.
If a hundred, teach the people.
If you reap only once; it will be a one time thing.
Planting a tree, it will be tenfold.
Teaching the people, the result is a hundredfold.
If you give a man a fish, he will be nourished once.
If you teach him to fish, he will feed himself
And his family-all his life.”
-Chuang Tzu-Chinese Taoist Philosopher written 26 centuries ago
“A nation’s growth from sea to sea stirs in the heart of a tree.”
“We can do together what we can’t do alone.”
-Liz Bailey, One Day at a Time
“When we begin to see the land as a community to which we belong, we begin to use it with love and respect.”
-Aldo Leopold, 1949
“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel.” -Aldo Leopold
“I never before knew the full value of trees. Under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company.”
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter.”
“The time is always ripe to do right.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The best friend on earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on earth.”
-Frank Lloyd Wright
“I am myself and what is around me, and if I do not save it, it shall not save me.”
-Jose Ortega Y Gasset
“Holy Mother Earth, the trees and all nature are witnesses of your thoughts and deeds.”
“The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful, and the ennobling in man.”
-J. Sterling Morton
“Each generation takes the Earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed.
-J. Sterling Morton
Prayer of the Woods
“I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights, the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun, and my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.
I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat.
I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, and the shell of your coffin.
I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty. ‘Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: Harm me not.”
- translated from Portuguese and is thought to be several hundred years old, although its origins are not fully known
“The forests are the flags of Nature. They appeal to all and awaken inspiring universal feelings. Enter the forest and the boundaries of nations are forgotten. It may be that some time an immortal pine will be the flag of a united and peaceful world.”
-Enos A. Mills
“To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees.”
“In the woods we return to reason and faith.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“No shade tree? Blame not the sun but yourself.”
“Trees are the Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”
“The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.
- Herbert Kaufman
“I will walk gently upon the Earth AND Listen, listen to what it is telling me.”
-M.J. Slim Hooey