Famous Trees in Popular Media

Trees have a longstanding history of playing symbolic roles in pop culture. From appearing in song lyrics and memorable movie scenes, to acting as central characters in novels, the presence of trees in entertainment is nearly as old as media itself. Brush up on your tree-via with a few of the most iconic trees found in popular media.

Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel fans will recognize the lovable tree played by Vin Diesel in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. After sacrificing himself for others and being reduced to a sapling, Groot shows us that he’s a true friend, all the way down to his roots.

The Whomping Willow from Harry Potter

A landmark on the grounds of Hogwarts, the wizarding school Harry and his friends attend, the Whomping Willow is an enchanted tree that protects the property by violently thrashing its large branches. The wrath of the willow doesn’t discriminate, however, and even innocent parties have run-ins with the wooden beast throughout the series.

The Weirwood from Game of Thrones

Known for their blood-red leaves, weirwoods are a deciduous variety found within Westeros, one of the four known continents in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Fans of the TV adaptation, Game of Thrones, will recognize the weirwood in King’s Landing as a site where several pivotal scenes take place.

Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas

A traditional guardian figure, Grandmother Willow is a sentient willow tree who delivers wisdom to Pocahontas in the 1995 Disney film. Wise and at times witty, she serves as an adviser to the Powhatan woman as she navigates the arrival of English colonial settlers.

Tree of Life from The Lion King

Hailing from another Disney classic, the Tree of Life plays a central role in The Lion King. It’s the home of Rafiki, the film’s baboon shaman, and is the site of his central discovery that the hero Simba is still alive after leaving the Pridelands. Today, the Disney theme park Animal Kingdom is home to its own Tree of Life, a 145-foot sculpture of a baobab tree which was constructed with more than 8,000 different branches and 102,000 artificial leaves.

The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

Good luck getting through this children’s classic dry-eyed. The Giving Tree represents the sacrifices parents make for their children. As a young child grows into a man, he uses the tree’s resources until the charitable apple tree is reduced to a stump, perfect for the elderly man to sit upon in peace.

Sycamore Trees in “Dream a Little Dream of Me”

First recorded in 1931 by Ozzie Nelson, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” has been performed by at least 40 other artists, including Eddie Vedder, The Mamas & The Papas, Doris Day, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. The lyrics are dreamy indeed, encouraging a lover to think fondly of tender moments shared, with “birds singin’ in the sycamore trees,” while they’re apart.

The Old Oak Tree in “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” was first recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn. It’s told through the perspective of a soldier returning home from the military, and is based on the idea of a yellow ribbon being used as a symbol of devotion worn by women whose partners were serving in the war.

The trees in your own yard may not be famous, but they can provide years of enjoyment when properly maintained. Allow Premier Tree Solutions to help care for your trees with services like trimming and pruning. Contact us online or call 404-252-6448 to get in touch.

Homeowners Insurance & Your Trees: What to Know

Your trees add aesthetic value to your property and provide a number of other compelling benefits to our lives. But in certain conditions, trees could actually be a liability.

Because of this, homeowners insurance companies have strict requirements in place for policyholders, and failure to comply could result in a loss of coverage or denial of claims. Here’s what we want you to know about how your trees can affect your homeowners insurance coverage.

​​Please note: The following includes generalities of property-insurance policies and is not to be taken as legal advice or definitive information about specific coverages or specific loss. Every policy is different, and we recommend you consult a licensed insurance adjuster or an attorney in your state to interpret each policy.

Which Tree-Related Incidents Will Insurance Cover?

In many cases, homeowners insurance plans cover damage to your property caused by fallen trees or limbs — whether yours or your neighbor’s. This includes damage to your home’s structure and its contents, as well as sheds, fences, and other features on your property. Should a tree on your property fall and damage neighboring homes or structures, your neighbors’ homeowners policy should also cover those damages.

With that in mind, homeowners insurance companies hold their members responsible for maintaining the trees on their properties. For instance, trees that are dead or decaying should be removed promptly, as they pose known risks to surrounding structures and life. If a tree is poorly maintained, dead, or diseased and then damages your home, your insurance company may deny your claim.

If a tree you haven’t maintained properly causes damage to your neighbor’s property, your insurance might pay for those damages through subrogation, a reimbursement process during which they pay back a claim from your neighbor’s insurance company. But if the insurance adjuster believes you were negligent in the matter, your own homeowner’s insurance premium may increase. It’s even possible for your insurance company to deny coverage or refuse to renew an existing policy if they find the trees on your property are overgrown, dead, or otherwise risky.

How to Keep Your Property Protected

Fortunately, the issues of denied coverage and claims are almost always avoidable with proper tree maintenance. In general, most homeowners’ insurance companies prefer that their policyholders keep trees at least several feet away from the house and above the roof. (Be sure to check your policy for specific requirements, however.) In some cases, trees may need professional tree pruning or even tree removal to satisfy these requirements. Taking the time to address these problem trees now could wind up saving you thousands of dollars in the future.

Trees that are dead or diseased should absolutely be remedied, or if possible removed. Signs of an at-risk tree include:

  • Visible cracks and other noticeable trunk damage
  • Hollow trunk
  • Large, dead branches
  • A lean of more than 15% from vertical
  • Damage to more than half of a tree’s root system, such as from nearby excavating
  • Noticeable rot
  • Development of shoots or fungus on or around the tree

In some cases, it may be possible to remove only the affected limbs, including those that are at risk of falling due to a split or break.

While trees can be a valuable asset, you need a professional’s help to keep them so. Our certified arborists can help you determine whether a tree or its limbs can be saved, or whether removal is the safest solution for your property and your wallet. Request an assessment from one of our team members online or by calling 404-252-6448.