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Celebrating Wedding Anniversaries: Wood

Martha Stewart Living, January 2002

A tree is a universal symbol of life and, in many cultures, the repository of infinite wisdom, so wood has a prominent place in traditions worldwide. In myths of Central Asia, Japan, Korea, and Australia, trees are said to be the ancestors of humans. When two people in parts of India marry, pairs of trees are also joined in symbolic weddings to transfer arboreal vitality to the human couple.

Give each other a pair of saplings to be planted just far enough apart to support a double hammock when they mature. If you are impatient for this perfect bower, choose fast-growing trees with a beautiful annual show, like the sweet gums above. Or select a species that will flower, bear fruit, or change color in the month or season of your special day.