Husband & Wife Trees

There are two very large maple trees standing side by side in my front yard near an old shallow well.
They are called Husband and Wife trees.

Husband & Wife Trees

Husband & Wife Trees

Old timers called them that and you hardly ever hear the term any more.
It has gone out of fashion: like marrying for life and farming.

Eric Sloane mentions Husband and Wife trees in A Reverence For Wood.

“The big trees appeared two at a time, placed as ‘husband and wife trees’ when a house was built. They were usually on the east side of the house or at each side of the entrance; you could pick out farmhouses on any New England landscape by these double clumps of green.”

Of course the expression is a folk term and an analogy taken from the material and natural world that was used long ago to describe a married couple’s relationship.

A married man and woman are like two separate trees planted in different holes at the same time. They are a permanent fixture in the landscape and together they watch the years and the seasons pass.

The trees are the same size and one does not hinder the growth of the other.
Because the trees stand so close together they are not as subject to wind or ice damage as a single tree is. The two together are more likely to survive adversity.

The trees grow very close to one another.
But they are truly separate and there is space enough between them for the wind and air to pass. Their roots are entangled from beneath and how they are joined is hidden from the world.
The trees derive their sustenance from the same Source and one cannot be separated from the other without risking them both.

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