Tree names

Though the name Tree seems very odd in the English-speaking world, there are lots of lovely names with tree meanings in other languages. It seems as though Ash, Laurel, Ebony, Willow, and Rowan are the most normal-sounding, common tree-related names in the Anglophone world. Aspen has also become rather trendy, and Olive is starting to creep towards the Top 100.

Unisex:

Mu can mean “wood, tree” in Chinese.

Female:

Acacia means “point, thorn” in Greek. This is probably my favorite English tree name.

Alona means “oak tree” in Hebrew.

Anargul means “blooming pomegranate tree” in Kazakh.

Björk means “birch tree” in Icelandic.

Eglë means “spruce tree” in Lithuanian.

Elah means “oak tree” or “terebinth tree” in Hebrew.

Elowen is a contemporary Cornish name meaning “elm tree.”

Hadassah, or Hadas, means “myrtle tree” in Hebrew, and is the Hebrew form of the Persian name Esther.

Hazel might be getting rather trendy, but I loved it way before Julia Roberts used it on her daughter. I’m always annoyed when a name I loved for years becomes super-trendy and used by folks who’d never heard or it or were laughing at it not long ago.

Ilana, or Ilanit, means “tree” in Hebrew.

Juniper

Kalina means “viburnum tree” in Polish, Bulgarian, and Macedonian.

Kiri means “skin of a tree or fruit” in Maori.

Lina means “palm tree” or “tender” in Arabic.

Lubna means “storax tree” in Arabic.

Melia means “ash tree” in Greek.

Ornella is an Italian name created by author Gabriele d’Annunzio in 1904, for his novel La Figlia di Jorio. It comes from the Tuscan Italian word ornello, “flowering ash tree.”

Palmira means “pilgrim” in Italian, derived from palma (palm tree). Pilgrims had a custom of bringing palm fronds home.

Pihla means “rowan tree” in Finnish.

Pinja means “stone pine” in Finnish.

Pomona means “fruit tree” in Latin, after the Roman goddess of fruit trees.

Randa means “scented tree” in Arabic.

Sequoia

Taimi means “young tree, sapling” in Finnish.

Tamar means “palm tree” in Hebrew. This name is also Georgian, and was borne by Queen Tamar the Great of Georgia’s Golden Age. Tamari is a Georgian variation, and Tamara is the Slavic, Spanish, Dutch, and Italian form.

Male:

Alon means “oak tree” in Hebrew.

Arvid is the modern Scandinavian form of the Old Norse Arnviðr, which derives from the elements arn (eagle) and viðr (tree).

Bai can mean “cedar, cypress tree” in Chinese.

Daiki can mean “big/great tree” in Japanese. Unfortunately, I can’t see this name working well in an Anglophone country, since many people would doubtless mispronounce it like “dykey.”

Dara means “oak tree” in Irish. This isn’t to be confused with the unisex Khmer name meaning “star,” nor the male Persian name meaning “wealthy.”

Dekel means “palm tree” in Hebrew.

Hideki can mean “fine/excellent tree” in Japanese.

Hiroki can mean “great/big tree” in Japanese.

Ilan means “tree” in Hebrew.

Itsuki can mean “tree” in Japanese.

Javor means “maple tree” in the South Slavic languages (Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian).

Kazuki can mean “one tree” and “peace/harmony tree” in Japanese.

Koa means “warrior, koa tree” in Hawaiian.

Linden is an English name derived from a German surname taken from the word linde (lime tree).

Linford comes from an English surname descended from an Old English place name meaning either “lime tree ford” or “flax ford.” Linton and Lyndon are variant forms of this name.

Naoki can mean “straight tree” in Japanese.

Oren means “pine tree” in Hebrew.

Palmiro is the masculine form of Palmira.

Soma (SHO-mah) means “cornel tree, dogwood” in Hungarian. This isn’t to be confused with a unisex Sanskrit name meaning “lunar nectar.”

Taiki can mean “big/great tree” in Japanese.

Tomer means “palm tree” in Hebrew.

Vesa means “sprout, young tree” in Finnish.

Yasen means “ash tree” and “serene, clean” in Bulgarian.

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