23 Tree Of Life Tattoo Designs With Their Interpretations

Choose personal and distinct tattoo designs to express your personality and character.

Reviewed by Rian Othus, Tattoo Artist
Written by Nisha Baghadia, MA (Mass Communication)
Edited by Madhumati Chowdhury, MA (English Literature)
Fact-checked by Joyce Joyson, MA (Mass Communication & Journalism)  • 

Mother Nature is the most prominent symbol of strength. Besides, trees play a significant part in most traditions and cultures and symbolize spirituality, power, and immortality. So, what are the tree of life tattoo designs? The symbol of the tree of life comes with a long history. A blogger shared that he got the tree of life tattoo on his shoulder after he kept dreaming of trees. He got in on his right shoulder which was once injured with scarring, describing, “Now, I don’t have to see those visible scars, instead, I see a beautiful piece of living art. Now this shoulder can represent something positive and beautiful instead of pain (i).” In this article, we have listed a collection of these tattoos and their distinctive features. You can choose the one you can relate to the most and get inked to make your new style statement wherever you go. So, let us get started.

1. Celtic Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @zile_tattoo_studio

The Celtic culture is based around Mother Nature and their strong connection with trees. Trees provide food and shelter to birds and animals, act as a place for gathering, and provide a spiritual bond to various deities and ancestors. This connection to the spirit world is regarded as a significant attribute in the Celtic culture. This Celtic tree of life tattoo done in black ink can be a good choice for anyone who connects with Celtic beliefs.

2. Cherry Blossom Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @breeashleyy

This design features an elaborate cherry blossom tree done on the thigh. Its natural colors look absolutely stunning. It is widely known that this flower blooms for a short period of time and ends up detaching itself from the tree. Hence, according to the Japanese tradition, it symbolizes the transience of beauty. Cherry blossoms are also highly celebrated in various Japanese festivals. According to Buddhism, they represent self-knowledge and wisdom.

3. Minimalistic Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @pejczi

I have been a firm believer in the saying “Less is more.” This is one of those tree of life tattoo designs that bring this ideology to life. This unique tattoo is done right above the collarbone in black ink and surrounded by a colored circle.

4. Apple Tree Tattoo

Image: Instagram @leehumphs_tattoo

Apples appear in many religious texts, sometimes even being called mystical. As the story of Adam and Eve goes, it is called the forbidden fruit. Apples can even be seen as having a dual nature: they signify the downfall of Adam and Eve but also symbolize learning and knowledge.

5. Simple Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @tattoosby.ahmed_

I have always been a fan of simplicity and believe that it can take anything to the next level and turn it into something beautiful. This tattoo is proof that even the easiest and softest strokes can turn a simple tree into an edgy tree of life tattoo.

6. Geometrical Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @brian_sena_tattoo

Geometrical patterns are often chosen by people who value neatness, clarity, and perfection in their lives. This tattoo consists of a tree of life surrounded by a cool geometrical pattern giving it a crisp look.

7. Tribal Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @rupintart_com

Tattoos inspired by tribes from around the world make for some of the most beautiful designs in the world of body art. This tattoo features a tree of life flagged by lion animal motifs on either side in tribal patterns.

8. Mandala Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @buttercuptattoostudio

Trees, in general, represent good fortune, security, the blessings of Mother Nature, and family stability. A tree mandala design beautifully encompasses these meanings within the circle creating a layer of protection. The mandala sign itself is considered sacred across various cultures and thought to bring good fortune. When combined, this design creates an even stronger symbol.

9. Linden Tree Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Linden trees are considered to be sacred as they symbolize monogamy, love, fertility, friendship, and peace. On the other hand, they are popular in various traditions across the globe due to their positive connotations with healing and protection from the evil eye and diseases.

10. Cypress Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @doud_d0u

The crosses you see at graveyards are usually made of wood from cypress trees to protect the dead. Both Muslims and Christians also plant them in cemeteries as they believed that they acted as a wall of protection against all kinds of evil.

protip_icon Trivia
Throughout history and across cultures, the Tree of Life has gone by various titles, including the Cosmic Tree, the Sacred Tree, the Tree of Immortality, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

11. Birch Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Birch trees are thought to be symbols of new beginnings, hope, and renewal because they have the unique ability to grow on even the most barren of lands. They also grow quickly and make shelter for various birds and animals. They are known to carry wisdom while also appearing young for life, making them the perfect tattoo for people who strongly believe in these attributes. With its intricate detailing and sleek appearance, this is a great idea for a calf tattoo done in black ink.

12. Ash Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @fe_hc

Ash trees are big in height and width, and they have strong roots being. These attributes of weight, size, and depth symbolize expansion, growth, and a premier perspective. This tattoo of the tree has been done on the forearm in black ink. The gradient shading of the tattoo adds a unique dynamic to this design.

13. Aspen Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @kelseyknown

This is one of the prettiest images for a tree of life tattoo. It is done using the natural colors of the aspen tree. You are bound to find the shuddering aspen leaves being mentioned in various legends and lores in ancient literature. Anyone who is has seen this tree would have seen it dance when the wind blows. It is said that the druids used to go to the aspen groves to watch the dance of nature while using aspens as tokens. Hence, it is believed that aspen trees symbolize a happy ending as well as mourning and sorrow.

14. Cedar Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @nothingwildtattoo

Cedar trees are admired by tons of cultures around the world. The wood of this tree is used to build doors for various holy structures and is burnt during purification rituals. This tree was believed to be used in housing gods, serving as a passageway to the other world. When you get this tattoo inked on your body, think of it as a symbol of incorruptibility and protection. Placed best onto the forearms, shoulder, and thighs, they look enchanting in colored ink and edgy in black ink.

15. Bay Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @deep_needle

Often mentioned in ancient Greek mythology, the bay tree is a representation of strength and courage. It is also said to be treasured by Roman gods and goddesses. They used to wear crowns made out of sprigs of the bay tree to depict their high status and glory. This is one handsome tree that makes for an equally gorgeous tattoo. Sharp and bold black lines have been used for the branches of this tree, and the leaves have been done with neat and precise strokes. This is a great tattoo for your forearm.

16. Fig Tree Of Life Tattoo

The symbolism of the fig tree originates from the Bible story of Adam and Eve where they used fig leaves to hide their private parts after eating the forbidden fruit. Hence, it is often figuratively used to express covering up any embarrassing or unpleasant activity that might bring shame. Other meanings of the fig tree include longevity and abundance.

17. Oak Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram

Numerous supernatural movies and TV shows have stressed on the importance of oak trees in ancient cultures. Celtic culture, for example, considers the oak tree to be a holy object and believes it has the power to access the door to the alternate realm. This Celtic tree of life tattoo depicts endurance, strength, bravery, and liberty. This tattoo would look very enchanting on your forearm or back in all black ink.

18. Willow Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram

There are a lot of meanings associated with willow trees like healing, freedom, and lost love. They also symbolize more mystical things like dreams and magic. These qualities are often seen as being feminine features. Getting a tree of life forearm tattoo like the one shown here is a time-consuming task but worth every second when you get all the fine lines and detailing right.

protip_icon Fun Fact
In pop culture, this tree has numerous well-known variations, such as the Tree of Souls in Avatar.

19. Beech Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @anna.alabaster

The beech tree is a well-built and magnificent tree with smooth, gray bark, a short trunk, and widespread branches. With such a strong image, it is no surprise that it is often seen as a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, prosperity, and patience. Perfect, right? If a person values these virtues, a beech tree of life tattoo is the most impressive option for them to get inked.

20. Maple Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @tattoo13insoho

You all would know about this tree as the one producing the delectable syrup you drizzle on your fluffy pancakes, right? Well, traditionally the maple tree is known to be a symbol of harmony, balance, and duty. The enchanting shades of red and yellow of maple leaves are the best sight of the autumn season. So, why not get this gorgeous image inked on your skin?

21. Walnut Tree Of Life Tattoo

Image: Instagram @mc_ulan

Walnut trees have a cultural significance for Native Americans. According to Native American culture, the walnut tree of life symbolizes focus and clarity. People who value perfection and are truly clear about their life goals can use this tattoo as a reminder for the same. Be it an all-black tattoo like this one or filling the tree with colors, both look perfect. Place this tattoo on your wrist, calf, or forearm in any size you wish.

22. Bonsai Tree Tattoo

Bonsai Tree Tattoo
Image: Shutterstock

A Bonsai Tree tattoo symbolizes resilience, strength, and the art of cultivating beauty in constrained spaces. The intricate detailing of this line tattoo design showcases a blend of artistry and technical prowess. It serves as a reminder to practice mindfulness, maintain a healthy balance in life, cultivate patience, and that enduring beauty can be found in simplicity.

23. Double Helix Tree Tattoo

Double Helix Tree Tattoo
Image: Shutterstock

The Double Helix Tree tattoo is the perfect example of nature and nurture. It combines the complex elegance of tree branches that is akin to the well-known intertwined design of DNA strands: a symbolic fusion of life and genetics. This intricate design represents the interconnectedness of roots and genes, emphasizing growth and evolution interwoven in the tapestry of existence.

Infographic: 5 Meaningful Tree Of Life Tattoo Ideas

The tree of life has been interpreted differently across cultures. While its basic elements and symbolism remain the same, people often connect it with their own belief systems and use this tattoo to reflect their spiritual philosophies. This symbol widely appears in Norse mythology. If you are intrigued by its design, check out the infographic below and take a look at the top 5 tree of life tattoos and their meanings.

5 meaningful tree of life tattoo ideas (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Tattoo art is an incredible way of revealing your personal expression, inner style, and personality. These tree of life tattoo designs can help you symbolize your spirituality and empower you. One of the most appealing aspects of these tattoos is the ability to modify any design to create something truly personal and distinctive for you. So, whether you are looking for bold and beautiful designs or intricate tribal designs, we are sure you will find them on the above list. You can also show a little creativity by personalizing these designs. There are, however, certain precautions you should take before and after getting a tattoo to prevent it from becoming inflamed or infected.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a pine tree tattoo symbolize?

Pine tree tattoos signify a peaceful long life along with an ability to adapt.

What does the tree sleeve tattoo mean?

A tree sleeve tattoo is a tree tattoo inked on a person’s forearm that covers it almost completely. The tree of life signifies a person’s individual uniqueness, growth, and beauty.

What does a tree without leaves tattoo mean?

A tree without leaves tattoo signifies that our time here is limited. It encourages us to make the most of every day.

What does the tree of life with birds mean?

The birds with a tree of life, signify the growth of human life in the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, youth, and maturity.

What does an upside-down tree of life mean?

An upside-down tree turns our focus to the roots of our worries and desires. It signifies that you can banish all worries and desires by working on and detaching from their roots.

Key Takeaways

  • Trees play a significant part in most traditions and cultures and symbolize spirituality, power, and immortality.
  • If a person values these virtues, a tattoo of a tree of life is the most impressive option for getting inked.
  • You can choose the one you can relate to the most and get inked to make your new style statement wherever you go.
  • Plus, you can customize it to create something unique for yourself.

Check out this awesome video showcasing 100 Tree of Life tattoos ideas! Get inspired and find the perfect design for you!

Personal Experience: Source

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