Plant a Tree

Imagine the type of world we could see
If instead of saying ‘pray,’ we said, ‘plant a tree’.
With this one little change so much more could be done
To protect all living things found under the sun.

We could ‘plant a tree’ for our troops sent away into war
So when they return they’d come home to find more.
We could ‘plant a tree’ at our churches with our husband or wife
To praise the Creator through a celebration of life.

We could ‘plant a tree’ for the needy and for those with no food
We could even plant in public without seeming rude.
The government would not have to introduce rules,
And most likely we could ‘plant a tree’ at our schools.

If we took it to task to ‘plant trees’ for the poorest,
We would all soon be reaping the wealth of a forest.
We could plant freely with those of all religions and creeds,
The improvement of earth would be based on these deeds.

We could plant with our neighbours, our family, and friends,
And ‘plant a tree’ with our enemies to help make amends.
If we ‘plant a tree’ for the sick to show them we care,
We would also be healing the soil, water, and air.

We could ‘plant a tree’ to observe when two people wed,
And plant one with our kids each night before bed.
Throughout the history of the whole human race
We find respect for the ‘tree’ has always had a place.

The great Ash of the Norse was their tree of the World,
And on a tree in the Garden is where the serpent once curled.
It was in groves of Oaks that the Druid priests wandered,
And under the Bodhi where the great Buddha pondered.

In the Bible it’s clear that we have all that we need:
‘All the trees with their fruits and plants yielding seed’.
Despite all these lessons that the past has taught
Now days, it seems, we cut our trees without thought.

This is confirmed by the Koran, for in it we read:
‘Many are the marvels of earth, yet we pay them no heed’.
We all have a duty, no matter what nation
To perform our part in protecting Creation.

Just think what we’d have if we had picked up a spade
Every time each one of us bowed our heads and prayed.

Further Reading:


  1. The Sanctity of Planting Trees

    The beneficial nature of trees to our ecosystem is now widely known. It may be noted in this regard that the planting of a tree is regarded in the classical Islamic tradition as an act of continuous charity, the most desirable sort of good deeds. The Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, said that if one plants a tree then whatever is eventually eaten from it whether by humans or animals counts for the planter as a an act of charity. The importance of planting trees as a good deed is highlighted in another tradition which says that if one has on hand a sapling ready to be planted and the Day of Judgment arrives one should go ahead and plant it.

  2. There is an African village that is now planting 111 trees for every girl born. The family must tend the trees. I think it would be wonderful if everyone planted 20 or more food bearing trees for every child born. When the child is grown food and air quality for that child will be insured.

    I’m finding now that it’s 10 years into my project here in the desert I’m having lots of seedling trees coming up of the native desert nitrogen fixing trees. These include Palo Verde, edible beans, Mesquite, edible beans and Mimosa, edible flowers and leaves. I also lay out cactus pads here and there and have some beautiful stands of Prickly pears and Indian Figs. If there was a drought and famine I could get quite a bit of nutrition from these natives alone. My established figs are also starting to be very productive along with the Pomegranates,Almonds and Pistachios. If I had started this when I was young I would be well set up for retirement but I started when I retired so someone else will benefit from my work.

  3. Loved this poem, Kristof, and shared it with my UU church e-mail list. Someone asked if we could get your permission to share it on a UU environmental justice network web page.
    Would that be okay with you?

  4. I came across your post via Learning from Dogs website and was so very impressed with its words I had to come along and thank you in person for your insight.. Trees are the life giver of breath to everyone that breathes…….. Many thanks

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