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Readers Respond: Do You Believe Trees Have a Spirit and Are Sentient Beings?

Responses: 22


A book I just reviewed set me back on my heels a bit. New Age book PersonaliTrees, written by Joan Klostermann-Ketels, suggests trees are sentient beings, possess a spirit energy and have personalities. She provides interesting photos of trees physically expressing human characteristics that often change as they age. I have always felt a certain awe on my forest treks but maybe I need to pay closer attention in the future.


Absolutly as i have aged i have come to believe all of nature and earth herself have spirits,and we owe much to nature,if we dont change and respect all things we will pay dearly
—Guest mmkkpro

tree spirits

Oh boy. Do you see many elves, and wood fairies where your at. Oh by the way watch out for those dragons and orcs.
—Guest mark

Ttrees have spirits

Everything on this earth was created by God. To me there is some sort of spiritual being, if we understood the mechanics of creation I think we would look at it differently.
—Guest Carol


Whenever I visit Mount Nemo in CANADA , I feel at my grandfather's home , when I stand by the side of the 800 to 1000 years old trees. The sages of India retired to forests to discover their inner self . Trees are testimony of time , selfless entities , home to generations of birds , self motivated to grow , sustain the recessions of harsh winters , and positively spring forth to life in spring.

We know nothing

If we only knew how the universe really worked...I think there is every possibility that trees have sentience. Large, old trees especially. I happen to have a 120 foot pine right outside my front window....like 10 feet outside my window. I have had several experiences over the years with it. Most involving psychedelic mushrooms but still very real. These large trees have a real undeniable presence. I personally believe they have sentience. It's amazing to think that there are forests full of them. I just hope they don't feel physical pain.
—Guest Nate

Spirit of Trees

Greetings - SHARING. Our Vedic culture has always respected Trees-called as "VRIKSHA" in Sanskrit & venerated in our scriptures. Trees like small plants, shrubs, flower have feelings and so obviously is a Conscious living organism. There are many things we are not able to prove in a lab; but Dr Bose did prove some of this. In years to come, I sincerely hope Forests & Trees will gain this respect and that Illegal deforestation & Logging all over the globe, including my country will cease - Planet Earth &Man Needs Trees - With Regards Capt.TR (Retd Mariner) Chennai INDIA
—Guest Capt.TRajkumar

The Jury Is Still Out.

No to the belief that trees possess a spirit. Reserve judgement about whether they are sentient. Certainly not in the way we typically define sentient. They do respond to stimuli, grow, reproduce, breathe, eat,... Perhaps one day we'll find that they have rudimentary communication of a sort. Til then the jury remains out.
—Guest scotjute

Why trees?

I'd have to ask why attribute a spirit to a tree and not to weeds, grass, bushes or vines? I love trees and have over 100 acres of them but sometimes they seem like overgrown weeds, not that there's anything wrong with weeds. I love being in the woods, it's usually cooler and I love the smell of leaves and logs decomposing. They do have a purpose.
—Guest jc

Tree Sentience

I have been working spiritually with a group of trees for over six years and have facilitated a workshop there called TreePlay: Heart of the Forest for many people. I am writing a book about the amazing experiences I and others have had in this forest. What I've found is that the larger, older trees are the ones that develop consciousness (a good reason to preserve old-growth trees) and that as people attune and communicate with them, their consciousness grows as well, as does our ability to be aware of what they are doing. They not only can be sentient, but have healing and spiritual abilities beyond anything we can imagine. Read the letters from participants at www.thrivingplanet.org. Also, Diana Beresford-Kroeger's book, "Global Forest" describes the science behind the ways in which trees see, hear, feel, communicate, contribute and cooperate, including the healing aerosols they emit. Saving, nurturing, planting, and loving our trees may be the only we can save our planet

Spirit In Trees

I agree with Noel... Knowing that you are alive and being conscience of this fact, is in my opinion, what makes us a spiritual sentient beings. That is why cats and dogs do not have a spirit. Sure they are awesome creatures but do they know they will die? Same as a tree.

A Second Look

I believe that I should not discount someone's opinion or experience just because it is not my own. If everything physical is escentially energy in physical form and we cannot prove that this energy does not have a type of consciousness or spirit ... who is to say that a tree does not have a spirit. We know that each atom has many times more space in it than solid particles. Do we truly understand the nature of this atomic space? Can we prove that this space is not inteligent or "conscious energy". Throughout this world nature shows many many signs of inteligent design. Maybe our creator is a silent witness hidden in the space between the nucleous and electron field of each and every atom. Within us and all around us. What is the difference between a living body and a dead one except for a field of electro magnetic energy or a field of consciousness? In a similar way, could not this consciouness energy also give life to a tree and thus a tree have a spirit.

Trees as significant watershed member

One can imagine that under the shade of trees you feel the effect of natural cooling. With its deep roots it holds the ground. Its leaves that falls serves as anti erosion and once decayed they serve as fertilizer. My father used to be a waterworks system officer, he cared the trees in our natural source of water. But due to man's greed these trees were cut and as a consequence the place where they stood crumbled causing a slide and the spring source was no more.
—Guest fidel


I am grateful to live where we can all agree to disagree and believe what we want to believe. I respect your opinion and appreciate you taking the time to share it with this blog. It's important to hear all sides of a topic and one side is not necessarily more right than the other. I have always felt a connection to nature -- trees in particular. How I choose to honor that, whether I write a poem, a song or publish a book of photography -- is fortunately something I am free to do. As a cancer survivor my comments about trees being part of my healing process was honest and accurate within my experience. I certainly felt their healing energy as I did my daily walking meditation among them.
—Guest Joan Ketels


Trees react to stimuli so in a way they are aware, but that does not mean they possess minds. Furthermore, all those happy feelings they give us are reactions in us, not real perceptions of qualities in the trees. The idea that anything possesses some form of 'mystical' or 'otherworldly' energy is not just silly its incoherent to discuss. And you say this energy healed your cancer, and that they express human characteristics as they age? Get over yourself! Trees don't express human characteristics, they express tree characteristics, the need to 'humanize' them is such anthropocentrism. And why do you think trees are trying to heal you? I'd be more prepared to believe a scenario like 'The Happening' where plants try to kill us off in order to defend themselves than the idea that they're trying to heal us all the time. I like trees because of the facts I know about them, they are useful and beautiful and I love them, but they are not sentient and they are not mystical.
—Guest noel

Responding to Trees as Living Beings

Kathleen-- Thank you so much for your response! I love that you feel safe because the trees are there surrounding you. It speaks to the healing energy of the trees and the fact that they can be our protectors in so many ways... Thank you!
—Guest Joan Ketels

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