Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and young lovers are already daydreaming about romantic ideas to show their affection. One of the oldest ways to symbolically show devotion is a simple but sweet gesture: carving initials into a tree that will grow as your love grows. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this otherwise charming idea – it may be wise to think twice before pulling out the pocketknife!
Spare the Bark, Save a Tree
When couples decide to carve their initials into a tree, they do it with the intention of creating a lasting impression – an eternal testament to their undying love. It sounds great in theory, until one considers that trees are definitely not permanent, and carving anything into the soft flesh only serves to leave the tree vulnerable to disease. For the same reason that proper pruning is so important, fresh wounds on a tree invites a plethora of insects, fungus, and parasites that can quickly kill an otherwise healthy tree.
Staying in Line with the Law
Besides the overall health of the tree, there is another huge reason that young lovers may not want to express their love on a living surface. Unless you’re planning to carve up a tree on your own property, you can almost bet that defacing public trees in your area is considered vandalism. If you get caught, good luck denying it: you’ve already left evidence far more powerful than a fingerprint! Avoid this problem by planting a new tree in your yard or (with permission) your local park - you do not even need to carve anything to make a lasting impression!
Sweet, Sweet Alternatives
Instead of potentially getting a fine or harming a tree, consider showing your love in a more permanent and thoughtful way. A wooden knick-knack box or picture frame could be a wonderful host for your carving desires – the product of your affection will last much longer and can be treasured without any travel. Embroidery allows couples to put their initials anywhere they want: on a pillow, a bath robe, a tapestry… The possibilities are endless! With a little creativity, you can have a lasting relic of your love that suits your intentions with perfection.