The dead tree tattoo is one that might be slightly different than you will be used to. Most of the time you will see the tree tattoo in the form of a blossoming tree with leaves and flowers. A sign of life and new beginnings. When you see a dead tree tattoo, it makes you wonder why someone would get that.
Depending on who you ask, this could be a positive symbol or a darker one. As with any tattoo, the meaning is decided by the person wearing it. In this article, we are going to over some of the meanings of the dead tree tattoo along with some example tattoos and how the dead tree has been portrayed in tattoos.
On the dead tree, the bare branches of the dead tree are likened to the arms of this dead structure. They reach out upwards and crooked to the unknown. When looking at a family tree, people are represented by the branches. In this case, the tree represents a family and the branches are the pieces that make the family.
However, the most obvious theme behind the dead tree tattoo is death and decay. The tree life cycle starts with new buds and branches. Flowers bloom and birds chirp as the sunlight comes over the ridge. Then the time comes for us. Eventually, potentially 100’s for years, time catches up. Maybe the tree is diseased or a natural disaster strikes. Whatever the reason, death gets us all.
The symbolism of the dead tree can stand for death or that there is no escaping time. This might be a reminder to the person to live life as if it was our last or it might have a darker meaning to them.
On the other hand, the dead tree tattoo might represent a sort of rebirth. In order to be reborn, one must die. You must go through the darkness before you can see the light. In some cultures, you cannot live without having died in a prior life. In Hinduism, the God, Shiva, destroys the universe to save others from the pain of our existence and then the cycle starts again. In this story, Shiva is considered good because he is willing to destroy the universe, so we are spared the pain. The dead tree has similarities in that sense. This will always depend on the tattoo wearer.
Dead Tree with Birds Tattoo
The dead tree tattoo with birds sitting on the branches or flying away symbolizes that there is a life that comes with death. Birds represent life and freedom while the dead tree is the opposite. Because the birds use the trees to nest and perch, we see a representation of one depending on the other. This symbolism is that life and death are much closer than we think.
Half Dead Tree Tattoo
The half-dead tree tattoo is another variation you may see when someone gets this tattoo. The tattoo represents the opposites of life. On one half of the tree, you’ve got bare branches that are dead and on the other side, you’ve got a lively tree with leaves and flowers. It can almost be considered a type of Yin-Yang tattoo. There is an opposite reaction to every action. There are ebbs and flows in life and if you’d like, you could look at the half-dead tree tattoo as a representation of this.
Many of these themes revolve around the darkness and the light. It’s a pretty obvious theme when you look at the tree. The bare branches, the leaves falling, and the lack of flowers is a sure indications this tree is either in hibernation or dead. This leads us to a different way to look at the dead tree tattoo. This dead tree could be in hibernation. Therefore, we can say a season has died and the tree is preparing for the next stage of life. This coincides with the theme of rebirth.
Dead Tree with Roots Tattoo
The dead tree tattoo has also been shown with an underlying root system. It’s very similar to an iceberg in the sense you can only see the tip but most of the ice lies under the water. In this case, the tree may look dead but if you look beyond the obvious, there is an enormous root system that flows underground where it is lapping up water and preparing to be born again.
This symbolizes the idea of not judging a book by its cover. In other words, do not judge someone without getting to know them as they most likely have a lot more going on than the eye can see. This is great advice to live by, but some people might need a reminder.
When we look at the dead tree tattoo, it’s the sentiment is clear if you are looking at the surface. Some chalk up the dead tree as simply standing for death and loss. However, there are many more meanings to this symbol and in order to find out, you should ask the person with the tattoo. Whether it represents the dying and dead or the cycle of life and rebirth, it is a very important symbol to somebody.
We hope that by reading this post about the dead tree tattoo, you have a better understanding of the message that is being portrayed in the image. The symbol is a strong one and will lead to questions but that is part of the fun of being tattooed. When discussing the stories behind the tattoo, you might end up making a new friend or understanding somebody a little better.