Trees have played an immeasurable role throughout human history. From the fruit we eat to the timber we build boats and houses from, we have developed complex relationships with these noblest of plants. It isn’t surprising, then, that so many people choose to get a tree tattoo permanently inked on their bodies.
From a willow tree stretched out across the wearer’s back, to a sequoia following the lines of the wearer’s leg, rising up their body, the placement of such tattoos for men can be tailored to anyone’s style and body shape.
The tree tattoos in this collection cover a variety of styles and approaches on a number of different canvases on the body and will give you a taste of what is possible with these powerful symbols as the subject matter.
1. Tree of Life Tattoo
This design represents the link between heaven and earth; life and the beyond. Therefore making a tree of life tattoo a great way to commemorate the circle of life with a positive and mystic symbol.
2. Palm Tree Tattoo
Few things can perfectly capture the blissful relaxation of an island paradise like palm trees. For someone wanting to take a little bit of the island life with them wherever they go, palm tree tattoos are the perfect keepsake.
3. Simple Tree Tattoo
The best tattoos for men don’t always need to be full of hyper-realistic detail and complex designs. In fact, simple tree tattoos can be as chocked full of personal meaning as any large, intricate tattoo can be.
4. Family tree tattoo
Used to illustrate genealogy for centuries, with their splitting branches and expanding foliage, trees are the perfect symbols of family ties. This gives family tree tattoos near-endless potential for family tattoo designs inspired by and in commemoration of the ones we hold dear.
5. Cherry Blossom/Sakura Tree Tattoo
Blooming, wilting, and falling to the ground, cherry blossoms symbolize the beauty and transience of life in Japanese culture and have been important elements in Japanese tattoos for centuries. Cherry blossom tree tattoos are the perfect reminder that all things enter the circle of life, even permanent body art.
6. Pine Tree Tattoo
The unique distribution of trees in different parts of the world makes them powerful symbols of place, and many people tie them to where they are from or where they have traveled. With their stark silhouettes, pine tree tattoos are perfect for commemoration of a specific place or time.
7. Willow Tree Tattoo
Instantly recognizable, willow trees conjure images of steamy New Orleans evenings overlooking the bayou. Such powerful imagery makes willow tree tattoos perfect for anyone that feels a connection to the backwaters and culture of the Big Easy.
8. Oak Tree Tattoo
A powerful symbol of nobility, strength, and wisdom, the oak tree is a popular design choice for these looking to embody these traits. The size and familiar shape of these impressive trees also make oak tree tattoos as visually appealing as they are symbolic meaningful.
9. Bonsai Tree Tattoo
These diminutive trees are symbols of harmony, peace, and the order of nature, plus they’re just cool. Bonsai tree tattoos are an excellent choice for someone that holds dear these characteristics, or just enjoys the shape and lines of these unique arboreal examples of Japanese culture.
10. Celtic Tree of Life Tattoo
A symbol that has made its way into cultures around the world, the tree of life is particularly important in Celtic cultures. In these traditions, the tree represents the balance and harmony of nature. a good intention for anyone that wants to embrace their heritage and add a bit of balance to their life, through a Celtic tattoo design.
12. Dead Tree Tattoo
Just as trees bloom, shed their leaves, and eventually die, so shall we. This symbolism makes dead tree tattoos powerful symbols of morality and can serve as memento mori designs, reminding the wearer that all things must pass.
13. Joshua Tree Tattoo
If a palm tree represents the beach, then a joshua tree is the symbol of the desert. Looking like no other tree out there, joshua tree tattoos are perfect for anyone that feels a connection to the beautiful desolation of arid desert lands.
14. Small Tree Tattoo
Not every tattoo has to be big. In fact, small tree tattoos create an interesting contrast. By inking such a quintessentially large organism in such a tiny tattoo design, these tattoos create a symbol of the unity of all things, big and small.
15. Peach Tree Tattoo
Few things can instantly evoke memories of a carefree childhood like the smell and taste of perfectly ripe fruit. For someone that grew up in peach country, a peach tree tattoo can serve as the perfect memorial to the innocence of youth.
16. Olive Tree Tattoo
A symbol of peace and friendship that has its roots firmly planted in history dating back to the ancient Greeks, olive tree tattoos can make for some stand-out designs. Whether in black and grey or vibrant color, the cultural significance of these trees is sure to shine through.
17. The Giving Tree Tattoo
An enigmatic children’s story that continues to puzzle and endear readers, The Giving Tree tattoos are a powerful way for the wearer to commemorate a story that taught them the importance of generosity and childlike wonder.
18. Aspen Tree Tattoo
A lightweight wood that holds mythological and historical significance as a tree of heroes, it featured in Greek folklore and Celtic battles as a favorable material for armaments. In the hands of a talented artist, aspen tree tattoos can inspire the wearer in the face of adversity.
19. Redwood Tree Tattoo
The giant redwoods of Northern California are some of the largest trees on earth and powerful symbols for the surrounding ecosystem and the people who live there. For someone that wants to dedicate a bit of skin to their NoCal roots, it’s hard to top redwood tree tattoos.
19. Geometric Tree Tattoo
There’s something inherently appealing to designs that blend the beauty of nature with the mathematical perfection of geometry. When the underlying truth of geometry’s role in nature is born out in how trees grow, geometric tattoos become even more significant.
20. Tree of Gondor Tattoo
“Where was the Westfold when Gondor fell?” For any fan of the Lord of the Rings, the meaning behind this symbol needs no explanation. Whether you prefer the books or the movies, the tree of Gondor tattoos is a sure-fire way to show the world your passion for everything Tolkien.
21. Tree Roots Tattoo
Without strong roots, we would just be drifting along. Whether its friends, families, or simply your hometown, tree roots tattoos can serve as powerful tributes to the ties that bind us together and make life meaningful.
22. Birch Tree Tattoo
Birch trees, with their instantly recognizable papery white bark, are symbols of rebirth, growth, and new beginnings. Found around the world, they are also considered protectors in Celtic mythology, making birch tree tattoos the perfect addition to a Celtic-themed piece or as standalone pieces for anyone looking to embrace a fresh start.
23. Tree Silhouette Tattoo
If you’ve ever been in the forest as the sun is setting and the light is fading, you understand the visceral power of creeping shadows. Tree silhouette tattoos are a great way to capture this feeling and demonstrate the wearer’s respect for and relationship with nature.
24. Tree Branch Tattoo
Sometimes you don’t need an entire tree; sometimes just a branch will do. By ditching the trunk, tree branch tattoos can utilize creative compositions and placements that hold similar meaning as the tree from which it was snapped, without being chained to the linear shape of the entire tree.
25. Evergreen Tree Tattoo
The unmistakable symbol of the eternally wet, perpetually verdant Pacific Northwest, evergreen tree tattoos make for the perfect ink for anyone looking to commemorate their time in the PNW.
26. Cypress Tree Tattoo
Found around the world with their boughs reaching upwards to the sky, cypress trees are powerful symbols of the link between this world and the next. Particularly significant in the Mediterranean, cypress tree tattoos are excellent for anyone wanting to reinforce their place in eternity.
27. Dogwood Tree Tattoo
With its flowers symbolizing purity, strength, affection, and rebirth — with powerful connections to Christianity — the dogwood is a tree chocked full of meaning. This makes dogwood tree tattoos a great choice for anyone that holds any of these ideals close to their heart.
28. Fig Tree Tattoo
Another tree that has roots in the depths of time, the fig tree is the third tree mentioned in the bible and is most commonly associated with power, wealth, and abundance. Whether your interest is canonical or more personal, fig tree tattoos can be applied in a number of styles and make for eye-catching designs.
29. Cedar Tree Tattoo
Thanks to its history of surviving political upheaval, war, and catastrophe, cedar trees have earned its place as powerful symbol of strength, longevity, and eternal life. Beyond any political significance, cedar tree tattoos are a great choice for anyone looking to permanently visualize these traits on their body.
30. Christmas Tree Tattoo
Who says yuletide cheer only comes around once a year? For anyone that wants to embody the charitable and heartwarming vibes of the holiday season year-round, Christmas tree tattoos are the perfect way to let the world know that for you, it’s always Christmas.
31. Tree Sleeve Tattoo
Given the linear shape of trees and the lines of the arm, it isn’t surprising that many people choose to incorporate trees into their sleeves. The natural lines of the arm can draw the eye from the wrist, up to the elbow, all the way to the shoulder, letting the artist create entire worlds in tree sleeve tattoos.
32. Tree Forearm Tattoo
Tree forearm tattoos, like their large full sleeve cousins, are a great placement that gives the artist plenty of room to stretch out and incorporate a variety of different design elements into a single, cohesive composition.
33. Tree Arm Tattoo
Tree arm tattoos don’t necessarily have to be large, detailed designs though. Sometimes a simpler approach is more appropriate for your style. Whether it’s a full sleeve or just a bit of black ink, the arms offer plenty of opportunities for unique designs inspired by trees.
34. Ankle Palm Tree Tattoo
We don’t always get the chance to feel the sand between our toes and dip our feet in the surf. But for a lot of folks, ankle palm tree tattoos are the next best thing. Just a little bit of ink that lets them take the sun and sand everywhere they go.
35. Tree Back Tattoo
With tangled roots, sturdy trunk, and an expanse of foliage, sometimes only the largest of canvases can do justice to the majesty of these arboreal behemoths. For those that live the “go big or go home” life, back tattoos may be the only way to effectively reproduce the sprawling vision they have in their head.
Tree tattoo FAQ
What does a tree tattoo mean?
While different species have more specific meanings associated with them, at their core, all tree tattoos represent life, strength, and perseverance.
What is the meaning of a tree of life tattoo?
A powerful symbol that shows up in cultures around the world, the tree of life represents the ties between the physical and spiritual realms, as well as being a powerful symbol for personal growth and the quest for knowledge. As the tree’s branches reach towards the sky, so do we grow and mature throughout life.
What does a palm tree tattoo mean?
While it has some more esoteric meanings in the bible — victory, triumph, and peace being the most common — for most folks these days, palm tree tattoos have less to do with conquest and more to do with holidays. Rest, relaxation, and time spent soaking up the sun, the palm tree has become a near-universal sign of seaside tranquility.
What does a pine tree tattoo mean?
There are certainly other meanings but for most cultures around the world, pine trees are symbols of strength, wisdom, and resilience, thanks to their hardy nature and exceptional lifespans.