Considering a palm tree tattoo? We’ve shortlisted some of the coolest designs around! We also explain what these tattoos symbolize.
There is an enormous variety of tattoos available, but one particular design that is extremely popular is the palm tree.
Perhaps palm trees remind you of balmy beach holidays, but when it comes to tattoos they symbolize so much more.
Getting ink is a serious commitment and one that you’ll want to properly consider before getting the design done.
If the idea of a palm tree tattoo appeals, here are the facts you need to know.
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What do palm tree tattoos symbolize?
Although you may like the look of palm tree tattoos, if you don’t like the underlying meaning it’s not the design for you. We’re therefore going to look at the symbolism of palm tree tattoos before anything else.
Using palm trees as decoration can be traced back to biblical times with Solomon using them on the temple walls. And it’s within the Bible, as well as the Quran, that some of the symbolism for palm trees arises, where they were used to represent goodness, wisdom and godly approval.
Palm trees are still synonymous with these same qualities, even for individuals who aren’t religious. Known as the Tree of Life, resurrection, eternity and immortality are also represented by palm trees.
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The Tree of Life is an integral part of the meaning of palm trees because as well as representing everlasting life, it’s also a powerful fertility symbol. This refers to the creation of new life with the male and female coming together in unity.
This nod to fertility is seen in the fact that palm trees are neither male nor female: instead, they are both. The perfect androgynous icon, palm trees have both male and female parts.
The male symbolism isn’t difficult to discern, with the long and proud trunk rather phallic in appearance. This masculinity is tempered by the feminine qualities of the fronds, with the fruit of the palm representing the female of the species.
Aside from these more obscure meanings, palm trees are a cultural symbol for some, especially those who live in beach areas. Hawaii, California, and Florida all place special emphasis on palm trees within their society and it’s not uncommon for people with a connection to these areas to choose a palm tree tattoo.
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Where should you have a palm tree tattoo?
With around 2600 different species of palm trees, it’s possible to place palm tree tattoos on various parts of the body, providing a great deal of choice.
At first glance, the long trunk would indicate that you’ll need a large amount of space but that isn’t necessarily the case.
The interesting thing about palm tree tattoos is that they’re a complete design all by themselves. You can have a palm tree tattooed on your body without any other elements and it won’t look odd or unfinished.
Conversely, palm trees fit into larger designs which can be part of a wider symbolic image. This diversity means that there is a palm tree tattoo that can fit on virtually any part of the body.
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If you like the look of tattoos on the back of the wrist or the foot, a small and subtle design can fit well. It’s possible to have matching designs with loved ones or special friends, a secret bond that only becomes obvious when you both display your tattoos together.
For a bolder image, the elongated shape of palm trees means that it can be used to run a longer stretch of your forearm, following the natural curve of your musculature.
Shoulder or back tattoos typically include other elements with the palm tree to create a striking image with deep meaning. These can be personalized to make the symbolism completely unique to you.
When combined with other designs, the palm tree can take on a different meaning.
For example, if combined with a skull it represents a lonesome death.
A solo palm tree can symbolize being alone while two together stand for unification and togetherness.
Add a flower and the simple palm tree becomes a link to divinity and heaven.
Bearing this in mind, it’s possible to design a palm tree tattoo that symbolizes something very specific.
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For a strong message of resurrection and immortality, the phoenix can be combined with the palm tree. The phoenix is the bird that famously bursts into flames at the end of its life before being reborn from its ashes in an endless cycle. This makes it the natural partner for palm tree tattoos.
If you’re drawn to the romantic notions of unification and perhaps fertility, two palm trees entwined is a possible design. Not outwardly schmaltzy, but with a personal meaning of intimacy that’s unmistakable.
The color of the tattoo is something to consider too. Of course, the natural greens and browns of the palm tree are possible and can look stunning in the right design.
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Alternatively, a black silhouette of the palm tree can be incredible, and pairs beautifully with tribal designs or other symbolic elements such as a cascade of birds in flight.
Create your perfect palm
Unlike some other types of tattoo subjects, palm trees offer a wonderful selection with something for everyone. Whether you prefer small and discreet or big and bold, a palm tree tattoo could fit perfectly.
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It’s always a good idea to make sure your tattoo artist really understands the end effect you’re hoping to achieve. This is doubly important with a subject such as palm trees due to the enormous possible variety.
If you’ve seen a picture you like the look of, it can be helpful to take it along or alternatively, sketch out your own ideas. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the world’s best artist as a drawing will help your tattooist to understand the look that you want.
Peaceful, natural and symbolic, it’s little surprise that palm tree tattoos are on the rise.
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