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The Wish Tree

Updated on May 21, 2011

A Wish Tree is an individual tree that is used as an object of wishes and offerings. These trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value. By tradition, believers make offerings in order to gain from that nature spirit, saint, or goddess, the fulfillment of a wish.

I have created a virtual Squidoo Wish Tree. Make your wish and I will add it to the tree. You can find it towards the end of the page.

Types of Wishing Trees

The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees

The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees is one of the popular shrines in Hong Kong near the Tin Hau Temple in Lam Tsu. Two banyan trees are frequented by tourists and the locals during the Lunar New Year. Previously, they burnt joss sticks, wrote their wishes on joss paper tied to an orange, and then threw them up to hang in these trees, believing that if the paper successfully hung onto one of the tree branches, their wishes would come true.

This practice was discouraged by the authorities after 12 February 2005, when one of the branches gave way and injured two people. Instead, wooden racks are set up in place for the joss papers to be hung while a period of conservation is imposed to help these trees recover and flourish.

The Hong Kong Morris, a morris dancing team based in Hong Kong, dances at the Wishing Tree on 1 May each year to celebrate the arrival of summer.

Photo is of one of the two Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees. Notice that one of the major tree branches has to be held up through artificial means.This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. Copyright 2005 mailer_diablo from Wikipedia.

A Wish Tree for the Environment in Scotland

A Wish Tree for the Environment in Scotland
A Wish Tree for the Environment in Scotland

Wishing Tree or Wart Remover?

One belief held regarding wish trees is in their power to heal. For example, this was a rhyme one had to sing whilst sticking a pin first into one's warts and then into the tree:

Ashen tree, ashen tree,

Pray buy these warts of me.

This photo of two Ash trees fused together in Eglinton, North Ayrshire, Scotland looks like they've taken on a lot of warts!

The Wish Tree on Calton Hill, Edinburgh

The Wish Tree on Calton Hill, Edinburgh
The Wish Tree on Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Wish Piece by Yoko Ono (1996)

Make a wish

Write it down on a piece of paper

Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree

Ask your friends to do the same

Keep wishing

Until the branches are covered with wishes

Yoko Ono: "As a child in Japan, I used to go to a temple and write out a wish on a piece of thin paper and tie it around the branch of a tree. Trees in temple courtyards were always filled with people's wish knots, which looked like white flowers blossoming from afar."

The Wish Tree has been a part of many exhibitions by Yoko Ono since the 1990s. People are invited to write their wish on a piece of paper and hang it to a tree branch. It's like a collective prayer in a way. Some wishes are deeply personal, some global wishes for peace and better future for humankind.

Yoko Ono: "All my works are a form of wishing. Keep wishing while you participate."

Yoko Ono has used different kinds of trees at different exhibition venues, to fit the particular venue's nature.

From: http://www.a-i-u.net/wishtree2.html

Yoko Ono's Wish Tree

Yoko Ono's Wish Tree
Yoko Ono's Wish Tree

In Hindu mythology

the Banyan Tree, called "kalpavriksha", meaning "wish- fulfilling tree", represents eternal life because of its seemingly ever-expanding branches.

The Hindu God of Wisdom Sits Under a Wish Tree


Dakshinamurthy is an aspect of the Hindu God Shiva that is the personification of supreme or ultimate awareness, understanding and knowledge. Shiva in this aspect is a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom and is therefore worshiped as the god of wisdom.

Photo is of a sculpture of Deity of Lord Shiva at the Madurai Meenakshi Temple in India.

World Trees


The tree, with its branches reaching up into the sky, and roots deep into the earth, can be seen to dwell in three worlds - a link between heaven, the earth, and the underworld, uniting above and below. It is also both a feminine symbol, bearing sustenance; and a masculine, phallic symbol - another union.

For this reason, many mythologies around the world have the concept of the World tree, a great tree that acts as an Axis mundi, supporting or holding up the cosmos, and providing a link between the heavens, earth and underworld. In European mythology the best known example is the tree Yggdrasil in Nordic myth. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil generally means "Ygg's (Odin's) horse".

My Squidoo Wish Tree

Make your wish here and I will put it on the virtual Squidoo Wishing Tree.

Make Your Wish!

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      anonymous 16 months ago

      I wish the next chapter of the crossover fan fiction Sonic-ki will come out tomorrow.

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      Jason 23 months ago

      I wish the next chapter of the crossover fanfiction Justice League of Amazons: Dragonborn will come out tomorrow.

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      kathleen-cash2 3 years ago

      I wish for prosperity and good luck for myself and my household after a long siege of hard times.

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      Barbara48 3 years ago

      I wish to be a miracle healer and money magnet now I am thankful!!!

    • profile image

      vodouvixin66 3 years ago

      I wish for a child.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wish for peace in my family between my children and parents and in the world between religions in Jesus name and also for my health and hair my sons new business and that my daughter and son will find new partners

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wish for all debt and illness be erased and peace, health, wealth, and prosperity in all it's forms to be bestowed upon me, my family, and you all.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      i wish that my father gets his job back by tomorrow

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Plead make me much taller, skinnier, and more beautiful. And for my dad to marry jay Tomlinson and for me t move over for a few weeks and not exactly get along with lottie but then go on your with one directions nd sleep on the same bus

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wish to be out of debt

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love sunidhi Nayak and want to marry her. That's the only wish I want to be fulfilled.

    • profile image

      chappieman 4 years ago

      To be with some one i can love and find happiness

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i want a companion for my lonely life in form of the person in my mind and my girl should be happy in her life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      my elder brother-s marriage problem should be solved and he should lead very very happy life with his wife and kids

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i want my second brother's marriage to be fixed with a girl who has good nature and takes care of my brother throughout his life with love by the end of dec 2012.He should lead a happy marriage life with that girl.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wish R will come again

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i wish i should have a government job in lucknow as a teacher

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I Wish I Was 19 And Looked Like 17 year old alexis marie and im danille peazers sister and im a hip hop dancer and im best friends with perrie edwards.and we live together

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wish Joe could really care and talk to me again. I miss my bro.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I also wish for our brothers and sisters and nephew to be safe and sound.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wish for the hurricane isaac weather to cooperate and let me catch my plane on Monday, then cancel my work meeting on Tuesday so we can go to Shawn's show before driving home unscathed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I wish to get a puppy

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Que Waleed me hable por telefono

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      my wish is to become principal in a school in Delhi kendriya vidyalaya

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish my son to get King's cpllege scholarship

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish for healing from cancer.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish to get a scholarship in my desired college

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish to become a famous actress and beautiful

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i wish for world peace

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish for my family to be whole

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish for health and happiness and creativity

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wish to pay off all past bills.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I wish for the lawsuit regarding my sister's father be settled swiftly and to my sister's advantage.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Prosperity an economic wealth for myself, family and friends

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I wish for D.R.D. to realize all the pain he has caused me and make amends by being the faithful, loving and caring partner he should be.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I wish to make friends and keep them!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I want to get abraham thomas as my life partner as soon as possible.please get him to attract me

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      Author

      Denise M Alvarado 7 years ago from Southwest

      I wish for harmony among relationships.

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