I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
— Joyce Kilmer
Every year we celebrate Arbor Day. During this annual event, many people and communities take the opportunity to plant trees. We all know that trees are beautiful. We know they help in the balancing of our atmosphere. And we know they are useful in many ways: landscaping, building, supplying warmth, making paper, the list could go on and on. As house plants can help us indoors, trees can be useful feng shui tools outside.
Perhaps you have heard of the four celestial animals. One of them, the black turtle, provides support for the back of our property. This support traditionally comes in the form of a mountain. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a natural black turtle behind our house. In the city or suburbs a building can provide the support a mountain normally provides. But in rural areas and sometimes in cities you may not have that support. Here is where trees become feng shui tools. Plant a row of trees along the back border of your property. Evergreen trees are most beneficial as they have branches from bottom to top and they don’t loose their leaves in the winter. They provide a good solid backing for you. A row of thick evergreen shrubs can serve the same purpose.
We need to be concerned about sha or negative energy. Trees can also help in this circumstance. Out of sight can be out of mind. If you have something ugly near you hide it with a tree. If the neighbor’s house is not in the best condition hide it with a tree. If the corner of a building is acting as a poison arrow, hide it with a tree. If the curve of a road in front of your house is too sharp, soften it with a tree. If you see a cemetery, hospital or church from your window, screen the view with our helpful friends.
Since trees can block energy as I just suggested, do not plant a tree in front of your door. If you look around your neighborhood, you will see many examples of this feng shui no-no. Keep the area in front of your door and to each side of the door clear of obstacles. Remember the area to the front of your house is the red phoenix and she needs room to fly.
Don’t plant trees, or shrubs for that matter, too close to your house. They should never touch your house or hang over the roof. The roots can damage your foundation. Branches can fall on your roof during a storm leaving a big repair bill. And planting too close to the house can diminish the circulation of air and qi, leaving you open to moisture and mold damage. Keep trees properly pruned and trimmed. Take good care of your trees and they will take care of you. But if your tree becomes sickly or dies make sure to remove it right away.
So go out and hug a tree and thank it for all the useful things it does for you and your family.
© Diane Kern 2009