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The Permission Tree

We had a first snowfall today so as soon as I got home I went out with my camera. I posted a picture of the persimmon tree to my facebook page, saying that this tree and I aren’t quite ready for deep winter. One of my friends commented that she’d initially misread my comment as a “permission tree.” Linda’s misreading could actually be a fantastic idea.

You may have heard of a Wishing Tree. Last June I took photos of the Wishing Tree at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Many gardens include this tradition and there are many artists who have used this theme in indoor and outdoor installations. A Wishing Tree is similar to a prayer basket, only the keeper of the prayers is alive, growing, and reaching toward the sky.

What would a Permission Tree be? I’m imagining a plant, probably an older specimen, where people would go to listen to a greater wisdom. This tree would whisper to people’s hearts as well as in their ears. “Yes. Go for it! Even if what you’re planning doesn’t succeed, it’s a good idea and worth putting time and energy toward this goal,” the tree would say to some. Others might hear different advice. “Are you sure you want to do this?” or “Let some time go by, so all of this emotion dissipates a bit. Then come back and we’ll talk.”

There will be times, of course, when this wise tree won’t hold back. “OMG, what are you thinking?” and “For goodness sake, I plead with you, don’t press send!”

I need this tree. You?

Here is my persimmon tree, ornamented with her fruit and a new snowfall. She is a bit young to be a Permission Tree, but after today I will think of her as that. Hopefully she's smarter than I am.


7 comments to The Permission Tree

  • Linda Evans

    It makes me happy to read this. I need a permission tree, too.

  • You inspired this, Linda! Thanks.

  • Jaycee Petty

    I love the idea of a ‘permission tree’ and when friends inspire!

  • Nancy Tarshis

    I think we all need that tree. Is there one that will grow in an NYC apt?

  • I don’t know why I missed this post originally, but I just got to it, and loved it. A permission tree is exactly what we need. I have visited the wishing tree at Berkshire Botanical, and thought it was a great idea — but a permission tree would be even better (and I love the orange persimmons on that snow covered little tree).

  • Anna

    I live on Cape Cod and I am wondering what variety of Persimmon you are growing? I planted a Nikita’s Gift Persimmon four years ago and this past summer the tree had about 25 fruit developing but all dropped long before they ripened, is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening?

  • Anna,
    I’m growing Diospyros kaki (Saijo Persimmon) – a beautiful tree and problem free, but the persimmon’s are very astringent… you can’t just pick them off the tree and bite in as you could with an American persimmon. I leave the fruit on (ornamental) and after it has frozen and thawed all winter the birds suddenly attack it. I’m convinced they wait until it’s fermented because they scatter the peels and seeds all over the place and it looks like a drunken party has been held under the branches.