Having grown up where trees were like living treasures by their rarity - I've more than one & for different reasons. Willows were definitely NOT native, but at the ranch we had ONE lone willow tree planted by my mother, near the house where it could get some excess water, which wasn't plentiful, but she was never wasteful and made sure every drop was put to stages of use. I admired its tenacity which I share abundantly; and it was in its limbs I sat when I was 10 and watched the rural electric lines finally coming over the rough terrain to give us that luxury out there. That it provided perspective for better things is something I like to think I do at times.
In Del Rio, where we lived during the school year - pecan trees were prized and thrived, due to a generous spring which watered the otherwise desert terrain. I loved them for their shade which protected from the fierce sun and for their delicious nuts which enhanced our food. Its ability to provide where provisions are scarce inspires me.
My prize now in Dallas is a magnolia, planted by my beloved step-son when he was 7. It's glossy leaves and gorgeous fragrant flowers express my strong senses of beauty.s
Others I might mention are the lowly but valuable mesquite which grows naturally at the ranch; - but its full of self-protective thorns in a place where those are needed. I can exhibit that trait. But it bears bean-pods which not only assure its survival but feed the wildlife. Wild persimmons also feed the wildlife.
In Indiana where I once lived, its state tree, the Tulip Tree, bears a flower which is such a thing of beauty, it seems other-worldly when encountered in the native woods. I have a bit of other-worldly aura, too. George called is 'minxy'.
I identify with all of these, I guess. I can't choose 'just one' & there are others I could easily add, but won't. Maybe this inclusiveness illustrates my versatility & independence: - the fact that I refuse to be 'boxed in' or limited where I'm not!! :-)