The roots of the tree run deep–in life, in history, and in art. A symbol of ancient wisdom, nurturing, and the branches that connect us all, the tree has long been revered as nature’s most sacred living monument.
It’s no small wonder that tattoo artists and enthusiasts have taken notice, resulting in some of the most stunning ink renditions to date.
There are many reasons to opt for a tree tattoo, ranging from cultural values to a preferred aesthetic. In Christianity the tree of life is mentioned frequently, with the tree of Egyptian mythology signifying the beginning and end of one’s life. Buddhists and Celts both regarded trees as higher entities, and in many communities around the world the tree is a place of gathering and celebration.
Whether any of the above applies to your own chosen tattoo or you simply wish to honor your own unique tree design, the inspiration from which your tree tattoo takes root knows no limits.
From intricate black & white naturalist drawings to abstract modern designs, your tree tattoo represents your own origins and values. There may be a beating heart nestled in the roots of your inked oak, or a poetic verse intertwined in the swaying arms of the weeping willow; perhaps there is music, or a flock of ascending birds.
Just as no two men are alike, every tree holds a significant meaning for its wearer. One thing is certain: the roots of your tree tattoo are anything but skin-deep.
Cool Tree Tattoo Ideas
The drawcard of this sublime tree tattoo is the amazing shading detail used to emphasize the foliage. The artist has incorporated an excellent mix of gray and soft black in conjunction with unique technical skill to make the branches come alive.
This abstract upper chest tattoo utilizes the trees to create depth of picture with nice use of flat black pattern.
The tree tattoo half-sleeve has become an increasingly popular style of ink. Generally, the artwork will run from the wrist up the arm to below the elbow, with most detail and heavy color located in the bottom of the artwork. Here, the shading is mixing black and gray at its deepest before the trees grow up the subject’s arm in a variety of pleasing shapes of leaf clusters.
This is a unique chest tattoo that really pops as an almost abstract piece of body art. The key to this work is the artist’s contrasting use of black vertical lines in some groups of foliage with painstaking dot work in others. Overall, this skilful method gives the tattoo an impactful mix of windswept patterns supporting the solidity of the tree’s main, heavy black frame.
This is a cool new wave tattoo. Here, the focus is only black throughout, cleverly using a variety of shaping and technical gun work to make an arresting piece of art. The main tree is beautifully drawn with solid yet skinny branches fanning out from the trunk like capillaries to overgrow the tattoo. The other trees behind – drawn with dot work – are deployed to give the piece scale and provide shadow without shading. The ink strike coffin border that reminds of calligraphy is also an effective tool which adds further spookiness to the piece.
The tree roots of this piece are amazingly realistic, and while less flashy to look at the pine branches are also beautifully etched. However, the rest of the tree tattoo’s scale is out of whack, although the concept is well thought. If the massive peak in the background is either changed to arc over the tree from behind or is removed all together the entire piece would benefit.
This is a very clever tree tattoo combining geometry and abstract styles to complete a realistic image. The trunk of the bough is executed with precise detail, like tile squares laid out to make a wondrous mosaic. The black lines are arrayed in beautifully small clusters of lines to make an arched group of tree branches. This is supremely well delivered body art!
Come and rest awhile under this palm tree. It’s a pretty stark image, that could do with pieces to form a whole scene, but the palm fronds are deployed with deft detail.
This is a funky moon tree tattoo. The execution of the waxing and waning is spot on, well contrasted by the solidity of the tee branches. Good use of geometric line work of circle and triangles help fill the background space and present a more fully realized total work.
A macabre abstract piece, it utilizes blackwork technique in a variety of interesting ways. The tree itself seems somewhat plain, however the pattern on the trunk and branches is done with difficult dotwork rather than shading and is a notable use of the artist’s skill. The best thing about the work is the ironic, solid black little girl and tree swing image amidst the rest of the carnage.
This overlarge snake coiled along the surface of a tree is unique. The artist has opted for no shading, despite there being an entire tattoo’s worth to incorporate. It’s kind of like a colouring activity book! The application of clean, crisp, black line work to make color from the tree roots is an excellent wrinkle in convention.
A captivating and classy tree tattoo that uses the maximum degree of difficulty to make unforgettable ink. This focal point of this piece of artwork is the tree’s foliage, delivered by painstaking amounts of technically brilliant dot work. It’s a genuine difficult style to do, and this artist has made it look easy. The other notable standout is the circle at the base of the tree. It provides balance to the entire artwork, without taking any focus away from all the shimmering leaves.
The tree of life doubletake. You look at the image at first and go cool, a well- executed tree, if a little compact and heavy duty. Then it sinks in that at the base of the tree there’s a hectic skull woven in amongst the root. It’s so metal!
Cool Tree Tattoo FAQs
What do tree tattoos symbolize?
Traditionally, tree tattoos symbolize knowledge, growth and wisdom.
Other representation of the tree in body art includes: nourishment, immortality, fertility and freedom.
Many tree tattoos – particularly popular in Celtic tattoo culture – incorporate the tree of life, often demonstrated by circular tree artwork with branches and roots intertwined.
How much is a tree tattoo?
Tree tattoo pricing can range from the shop minimum of $50-$80 for the smallest designs. It costs on average $150-$200 for an hour for more complex work.
Highly skilled, in demand artists can charge up to $500 per hour, while apprentices and less skilled artists are as little as $75.00 per hour.
It’s best to communicate clearly with your chosen artist on the framework for pricing prior to sitting in the chair to prevent misunderstandings.
A 15% tip is the average but 20% for quality work is usually recommended.