14 Tree-Inspired Baby Names That Don't Sound Like Trees

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 

Trees are beautiful and life-sustaining, and not just for wildlife — one tree can provide a day’s oxygen supply for four people. They stabilize the soil, absorb harmful gases from the air, and provide us with materials we need to build things and write things.

It’s no wonder that civilizations for thousands of years have revered trees as sacred and symbolic. They’re pretty freaking awesome.

Awesome enough to name your kid after? Why not! After all, strength and life and deep, grounded roots are great traits to honor.

There are the obvious tree names, like Willow, Juniper, Ash, Cedar, and Aspen, which fit right in with the nature name trend that’s hot right now. But there’s a more subtle category, too: Names that mean tree, but don’t necessarily scream tree.

If a name like that is what you’re pining for, check out the rest of this unbe-leaf-able list (heh — see what we did there?).

1. Linden

In Slavic mythology, the Linden was considered a sacred tree. This one might be especially lovely for a summer baby, specifically June and July; the Croatian and Polish names for those months are derived from lipa, the Slavic word for the Linden tree.

2. Garrick

Derived from a French surname meaning “oak tree grove.” Only one in 10,000 acorns will actually become an oak tree, so this name perfectly symbolizes the miracle of your little one’s existence.

3. Koa

Although the literal meaning of this name is “warrior,” the Acacia Koa is also the name of a flowering tree native to Hawaii. Its wood was once so highly prized that it was prohibited for anyone but Hawaiian monarchy to own it.

4. Melia

From the ancient Greek word “μελία,” meaning “ash tree.” There were several Melias throughout Greek mythology, and the Meliae (plural) were said to be nymphs associated with the ash tree.

5. Elowen

Though this name has a medieval-ish feel to it, it’s actually a very modern invention, as a name anyway. It’s the Cornish word for “oak tree.”

6. Jelena

Derived from “jela,” the Slavic word for fir tree — which could make this one nice for a wintertime baby. Fir trees traditionally symbolize honesty and forthrightness (because of their straight-and-narrow trunks), and the promise of growth and life, even during the cold winter months.

7. Iva

This one is the Southern Slavic word for willow tree, perfect for when you like your trees graceful and gorgeous, but your baby names short and sweet. Willows are fast-growing trees, about 8 feet per year, so this name sums up the way your little girl will thrive (and outgrow all of those cute clothes you just bought).

8. Palmer

This English surname means “pilgrim” — but it actually originates with the Latin “palma.” Pilgrims to the Holy Land would often bring back palm leaves as souvenirs from their journey, therefore becoming “palmers.”

9. Elon

Elon means “oak tree” in Hebrew. There are around 600 species of oak tree, including red, white, and black oaks, so choosing this name is like a celebration of diversity.

10. Vesa

It means “sapling” or “sprout” in Finnish, and is often given to a youngest child. In Finland, it is predominantly used as a boy’s name, but its A-ending makes it perfectly wearable for a girl, too.

11. Perry

Derived from “perrie,” the Middle English word for pear tree, which in many cultures symbolizes fruitfulness and longevity. In fact, the ancient Chinese used the pear tree as a symbol of immortality.

12. Dara

An Irish name meaning “oak tree.” Currently, it’s popular for boys in Ireland (especially with the spelling Darragh), and was a male name mentioned in the Bible — but it’s overwhelmingly female in the U.S.

13. Rowan

Known in Celtic mythology as the Tree of Life, it’s said to be good luck to plant a Rowan tree beside your home, as it symbolizes courage, wisdom, and protection.

14. Randa

An Arabic name meaning “fragrant tree.” Some tree species known for their perfume are sandcherries, apple trees, crape myrtles, and wisteria; plant one on your little Randa’s birthday to honor the meaning of her name.

Tree-inspired baby names are the perfect tribute to nature, longevity, beauty, and strength. So if you’ve thrown shade at all the names you’ve previously thought of, who knows — you might just twig to one of these tree-mendous choices.

For more baby name inspiration, and thousands of names to browse, check out the Scary Mommy baby name database!

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