Sacred Trees of the World

Sacred Trees of the World

Trees are a beautiful symbol of God’s love, but also the wonder of nature and the roots that connect us all. It’s no wonder John Muir said, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

Take a look at our slideshow of sacred trees around the world, from mysterious cherry blossoms in Japan to an Italian cathedral made entirely of trees, as featured in the October/November issue of Mysterious Ways magazine.

  • Guideposts: The Tree Cathedral was designed by Italian artist Giuliano Mauri and is still being built—by the trees themselves.

    Cattedrale Vegetale, Bergamo, Italy

    The “Tree Cathedral” was designed by Italian artist Giuliano Mauri and is still being built—by the trees themselves. The structure’s beech trees will continue to grow toward the heavens, eventually forming walls and a vaulted ceiling.  

  • Guideposts: What do you do with an 800-year-old hollow oak tree? Build a church in it, of course! The Chapel Oak was built in the 17th century

    Le Chêne Chapelle, Allouville-Bellefosse, France

    What do you do with an 800-year-old hollow oak tree? Build a church in it, of course! The Chapel Oak was built in the 17th century and has two chapels linked by a spiral staircase. Mass is held there twice a year.  

  • Guideposts: Years ago, this ordinary tree in Malta was supposedly struck by lightning. It now bears the not-so-ordinary image of Jesus on the cross.

    Jesus Tree of Malta

    Years ago, this ordinary tree in Malta was supposedly struck by lightning. It now bears the not-so-ordinary image of Jesus on the cross. 

  • Guideposts: This grove of nearly 400 pine trees—shaped like upside-down question marks—may have been intentionally molded by Polish farmers prior to World War II.

    Crooked Forest, Gryfino, Poland

    This grove of nearly 400 pine trees—shaped like upside-down question marks—may have been intentionally molded by Polish farmers prior to World War II. What they were planning to do with the trees? We may never know.   

  • Guideposts: This nearly 400-year-old tree, the only tree of its kind for miles and miles, makes its sandy home in the middle of the dessert in Bahrain.

    Tree of Life, Bahrain

    This nearly 400-year-old tree, the only tree of its kind for miles and miles, makes its sandy home in the middle of the dessert in Bahrain.

  • Guideposts: Flowers on the trees grown from seeds sent into space bloomed years early with five petals instead of 30 like their parent trees.

    Cherry Blossoms from Space, Japan

    In 2008, Japanese scientists sent cherry blossom seeds into space for eight months. When they planted the seeds back here on earth, things got weird…fast. Flowers on the trees bloomed years early with five petals instead of 30 like their parent trees. Talk about out of this world!

  • Guideposts: Established in 1945 to honor those who’ve served the United States, this tranquil cathedral on a hilltop has no walls, no roof. Just a beautiful sacred space for people of all faiths set amidst the beautiful pines of New Hampshire’s scenic Mount Monadnock.

    Cathedral of the Pines, Rindge, New Hampshire

    Established in 1945 to honor those who’ve served the United States, this tranquil cathedral on a hilltop has no walls, no roof. Just a beautiful sacred space for people of all faiths set amidst the beautiful pines of New Hampshire’s scenic Mount Monadnock.

  • Guideposts: In 2011, landscaper Barry Cox started work on this “living church” in his backyard. His fairytale-like creation sits on three acres of gardens, seats 100 and is even available for weddings.

    Tree Church, Ohaupo, New Zealand

    In 2011, landscaper Barry Cox started work on this “living church” in his backyard. His fairytale-like creation sits on three acres of gardens, seats 100 and is even available for weddings.

  • Guideposts: Maui’s massive Banyan tree is one of the largest of its kind and takes over a block in downtown Lāhainā.

    Banyan Tree, Maui, Hawaii

    Maui’s massive Banyan tree is one of the largest of its kind and takes over a block in downtown Lāhainā. The original tree was planted in 1873 to mark the 50th anniversary of Lāhainā’s first Protestant mission. It’s now a network of trunks and limbs that climbs up to 60 feet tall. 

  • Guideposts: It seems impossible, but this fir tree clings to life on a tiny, rocky outcrop in the middle of Fairy Lake in British Columbia, Canada.

    Fairy Lake Fir Tree, British Columbia, Canada

    It seems impossible, but this fir tree clings to life on a tiny, rocky outcrop in the middle of Fairy Lake in British Columbia, Canada.

  • Guideposts: The trees surrounding a Ukrainian train track naturally formed this awe-inspiring lane.

    Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

    The trees surrounding a Ukrainian train track naturally formed this awe-inspiring lane. A train passes through the storybook setting three times a day. And, according to legend, if you visit with your true love, your wishes will be granted!

  • JudeanDatePalmMethuselah by Benjitheijneb - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JudeanDatePalmMethuselah.JPG#/media/File:JudeanDatePalmMethuselah.JPG

    Judean Date Palm, Israel

    Around 500 AD, the Judean Date Palm referenced in the Bible went extinct. But in 2005, a scientist stumbled across 2,000-year-old seeds from the tree that’d been excavated from Masada. Three of the ancient seeds were planted and, against all odds, one sprouted. Today that tree, “Methuselah,” is over 10 feet tall.

    READ MORE: SECRET SPACES

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