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Bible Verses About Trees

What Does The Bible Say About Trees?

We are very familiar with trees. They’re all around us, and perhaps we don’t give them much thought. They come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on where we live, they might be taller than high buildings or short and scrubby. Trees seem very ordinary and not that spiritual. But, interestingly enough, trees are mentioned in the Bible quite often. In fact, Scripture refers to trees more than any other plant. Because of this, we must pay attention to what Scripture says about trees. Here are some significant things the Bible has to say about trees. 

Christian quotes about trees

“Aged Christian people should be like trees in the autumn, their branches full of ripe fruit to feed the hunger of those who live about them.” J.R. Miller

“A Christian should resemble a fruit tree with real fruit, not a Christmas tree with decorations tied on.” John Stott

“Praise is the beauty of a Christian. What wings are to a bird, what fruit is to the tree, what the rose is to the thorn, that is praise to a child of God.” Charles H. Spurgeon

Why are trees significant in the Bible?

God seems to like trees. They’re mentioned almost 300 times in Scripture. Trees represent abundance and life. They are first spoken of in Genesis in the first book and chapter of the Bible. Trees are the oldest living plant on our planet. Certain trees can live as long as 10,000 years. Today, there are trees that were alive when Christ walked the earth. Tree stumps contain rings that tell us the age of the tree.  Many characters and main events in the Bible involve a tree. For instance, we read about a tree in the Old Testament.

  • Creation-God creates trees. (Genesis 1:11 ESV)
  • In the fall- In Genesis, we read about the trees in the Garden of Eden, including the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eating the fruit from that tree was Adam and Eve’s downfall into sin.(Genesis 2:9 ESV)
  • In the flood- We read how Noah sent a dove from the Ark to find an olive branch indicating the waters had receded on the earth. 
  • Oaks of Mamre-Abraham meets with God and receives the news Sarah will give birth to a long-awaited son, Issac. (Genesis 18:1-3 ESV)
  • Joseph was compared to a tree-“Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall. (Genesis 49:22 ESV)

and in the New Testament

  • The kingdom of heaven is compared to a tree
  • Jesus calls himself the vine-(John 15:1-8 ESV)
  • Jesus killed a tree- A fig tree faking fruitfulness was cursed by Jesus never to produce fruit again. (Mark 11:12-14 ESV)
  • Tree of life in the center of heaven healing the nations- Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelations 2:22 ESV)
  • Jesus’ death on a tree- Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—(Galatians 3:13 ESV)
  • Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree to see Jesus (Luke 19:1-4 )
  • When Jesus healed a blind man, he first saw people walking that looked like trees. (Mark 8:24)

What types of trees are mentioned in the Bible? 

Not only are trees mentioned a lot in the Bible, but there are many different types of trees mentioned, including 

  • Acacia
  • Almon
  • Apple
  • Chestnut
  • Cedar of Lebanon
  • Fig 
  • Fir
  • Mulberry
  • Oak
  • Olive
  • Palm
  • Pomegranate 
  • Tamarisk 

Exodus 25:10 (NIV) “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.”

Exodus 37:19-20 (NASB) “three cups shaped like almond blossoms, a bulb and a flower on one branch, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms, a bulb and a flower on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. 20 And on the lampstand there were four cups shaped like almond blossoms, its bulbs and its flowers.”

Psalm 92:12 (KJV) “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”

1 Kings 4:25 “During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18″

Amos 2:9 “Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed their fruit above and their roots below.”

Haggai 2:19 “Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. “‘From this day on I will bless you.”

Joel 1:12 “The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree— all the trees of the field—are dried up. Surely the people’s joy is withered away.”

Genesis 2:9 “The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Matthew 21:19 “Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”

What does the Bible say about the trees praising God?

God created the heavens and the earth. Everything he made brings him glory, whether human beings or trees, which the Bible mentions as praising God by clapping their hands. This type of language is called personification, a literary term that describes a nonhuman thing using human characteristics. Trees can’t literally sing or clap, but the Bible includes these verses to give us a picture of how nature glorifies God. 

Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Corinthians 16:33 ESV)

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12 ESV)

As we read about nature praising God, we’re reminded of God’s greatness and power. We see his excellence in all his creation which shows his glory. When we read these descriptive verses, we’re inspired to join in with the trees in praise of God. We’re also reminded that God is our maker. 

Isaiah 44:23 “Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, O depths of the earth. Break forth in song, O mountains, you forests and all your trees. For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and revealed His glory in Israel.”

1 Chronicles 16:33 “Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth.”

1 Chronicles 16:32 “Let the sea resound, and all that fills it; let the fields exult, and all that is in them.”

Isaiah 55:12 “You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Psalm 96:12 “Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy.”

What does it mean to be like a tree planted by the water?

Trees that grow near a stream have a never-ending supply of water. Because of their location, they survive drought or extreme conditions. Scripture compares our lives to a tree planted by streams of water.  When we put our faith in Jesus, God the Father cares for us like this tree. We grow strong and able to withstand the difficulties in life because we stay close to him. 

God’s word nourishes us through reading Scripture and fellowship with other believers. We flourish as we love God and care for others in every season of our lives. This prevents us from growing inward and withering into self-indulgence.

Interestingly, trees don’t choose where they get planted. They grow where their seeds fall into the ground. Similarly, we grow where God plants us. He initiates a relationship with us. We simply grow where we’re planted and thrive as we trust the one who made us. 

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:3 ESV)

Colossians 2:7 “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”

Jeremiah 17:8 (ESV) “He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Psalm 52:8 (KJV) “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.”

What is the meaning of the tree of life?

Of course, one tree in Genesis that holds special significance lived in the center of the Garden of Eden. God guided Adam and Eve to eat from any tree in paradise, except for one tree: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve lived happily under God’s Fatherly care, enjoying the fruit from all types of trees except for the one God forbid.  Things were going great. It seemed like a great situation until the Serpent, who the Bible says was more crafty than any other creature, questioned God’s goodness and love for them while talking with Eve. 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  (Genesis 3:1-6NIV)

After Eve succumbed to the Serpent’s twisted logic and got Adam to join her in sin, the world was changed forever. 

Why did God prohibit Adam and Eve from eating from this one tree? God no doubt gave  Adam and Eve great joy in the trees they ate from, but keeping that one tree from them revealed their desire to remove themselves from God’s care. Up until this time, God was a caring father to them. This one action on their part caused them to step away from his loving care. Like a child who foolishly runs away from a parent towards a busy highway, they ran headlong into death. From that moment on, sin entered the world, resulting in death and decay to be our biggest enemy. Fortunately, God provided a way for us to get back to the garden relationship we had with him. He sent his Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins. 

Jesus and trees

Scripture compares Jesus to a small plant or tree. It’s really the only description we have of what Jesus looked like. 

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2 NIV)

As a carpenter, Jesus probably knew a lot about different types of trees and their wood. He also talked about having faith as small as a mustard seed, a type of bush that grew in his area. He often went into the hills or an olive grove as an adult to pray. 

The New Testament speaks of another important tree. This tree was shaped into a cross and used to execute criminals. The cross was used to kill Jesus, the Son of God. His death on the cross paid for our sins. 

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

Matthew 13:31-32 “He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”


It’s surprising how many references there are in the Bible to trees. Trees are the most mentioned plant in the Bible. Significant people and events often reference trees in some capacity.  Trees are mentioned first in Genesis and continue to be mentioned throughout the Bible until we reach Revelations. No doubt, God wants us to look at the trees. They remind us of his glory and power and show us how to live a vibrant, productive life as his followers. 

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