Nature Names: Will trees be the new flower names?

Now that just about every flower in the garden has been dug up and used by baby namers for at least a century, maybe it’s time to look beyond to their more imposing cousins. There’s a very big difference between the two:  Where most floral names are frilly and feminine, many, if not most, arboreal names are strong, sturdy, and much more  masculine.

The forest is  fairly unexplored territory; with the exception of a few names like Hazel, Olive and Willow, most of the standard tree names are just waiting to be discovered.  Here are some possibilities:

NAMES OF TREES

SUITABLE FOR GIRLS

ACACIA
APPLE
ASPEN
BAY
CASSIA
CHERRY
CINNAMON
CITRON
EBONY
HAZEL
HOLLY
JACARANDA
JUNIPER
LAUREL
LINDEN
MAGNOLIA
MIMOSA
MYRTLE
OLIVE
PLUM
SENNA
SEQUOIA
WILLOW

SUITABLE FOR BOYS

ALDER
ASH
ASPEN
BALSAM
BAMBOO
BANYAN
BAY
BEECH
BIRCH
CEDAR
CYPRESS
ELM
JUNIPER
LINDEN
MAPLE
OAK
PINE
QUINCE
TEAK
YEW

NAMES RELATED TO TREES

BRANCH
FOREST
GROVE
LEAF
MOSS
SHADE
SYLVAN

Almost every ethnicity’s name bank has a profusion of names related to nature, and that includes trees. Here’s a small sampling of foreign names related to trees:

ALAQUA — Native American, sweet gum tree
ALON, ALONA — Hebrew, oak tree
BIRK — Scottish, birch tree
ILANA–Hebrew, tree
IOBHAR (ee-var) — Irish, yew
LINNEA — Scandinavian, lime or linden tree
LLORA — Catalan, laurel tree
MAC DARA — Irish, son of the oak
MANJOLA — Albanian, magnolia
MATSUKO — Japanese, pine tree child
NAOKI — Japanese, straight tree
OIHANE (oy-ah-neh) — Basque, from the forest
OLIVIER –French, olive tree
OREN  — Hebrew, pine tree
ORNA  — Hebrew, pine tree
ORNELLA — Italian, flowering ash tree
SUZUKI — Japanese, bell tree
TAMAR — Hebrew,  palm tree
YVES, YVETTE –French,  yew tree

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27 Responses to “Nature Names: Will trees be the new flower names?”

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rachelmarie Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 2:20 am

I love and adore the names Cassia and Hazel.
Linden is definitely a cool option for a boys name.

Nephele Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 3:03 am

I love this blog! With my fondness for flower and tree names (for my Flower Fairy Names anagramming topic in your “Talk About Names” forum) I have some more for you:

BJORK – Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish, birch tree
CORNEL – another name for the dogwood tree.
FRESNO – Spanish, ash tree
HAYA – Spanish, beech tree
KIEFER – German, pine tree
LARK – Swedish, larch tree
ROWAN
TILIA – Latin, linden or lime tree

Elea Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 4:12 am

Rowan (for a boy), Bryony, Cassia are my favourite tree names.

I also love the Welsh ones: Bedwen (birch) Celynnen (holly), Collen (holly), Corsen (reed), Derwen (oak)

Cornish: Derowen (oak), Elowen (elm)

Okay, technically Corsen (reed) doesn’t count as a tree name but I like it all the same 🙂

Elea Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 4:34 am

** oops! Collen was meant to be ‘hazel’ not ‘holly’ ^^

I really like Nephele’s suggestion of Tilia as well!

phaedra Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 8:12 am

There are some very good options here. One of my favorites, though, is Daphne (laurel).

JustADad Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 9:46 am

I would not name a child Bamboo, Cypress, or Maple under any circumstances, and if I did, I would have to provide them with ninja training for the playground.

Abby Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 10:28 am

I love Linden! I have an aunt Linda, and Linden has long made the list of possible middle names for a daughter, in her honor. I think it would wear well on a son, too. And I adore Bay, but I don’t think of the tree – for me, it has always been a water name.

JustADad, I think I agree about Bamboo. Maple and Cypress would fit right in ’round here, but Bamboo is truly daring – maybe too much so!

Elsa Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 11:09 am

Plum is a guilty pleasure of mine. I’d never use it as a first name, but should we have another daughter in the future, I want to call her Dorothea Plum.

Dearest Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 11:22 am

I love tree names!!
For girls Cassia, Cinnamon, Jacaranda, Magnolia, Mimosa and Plum are favourites, especially Magnolia! Jacaranda isn’t my style, but I think she’s fabulous as well!! Very spunky, but has a bit more to it than Juniper in my head, and she’s a bit more feminine ^^
Aldar, Ash, Birch, Cedar, Elm and Oak are favourites for boys, Oak being the best of them…
I can’t see what Maple is doing on the boys list, that’s a little girl’s name in my head!!

Forest, Grove and Moss are also good for boys, Sylvan is a favourite along with Sylvester/Silvester. Leaf is also cool, but feels more girly to me…
Olivier, Oren and Tamar are also favourites, but Tamar only if pronounced TAY-mahr…

Balsam is funny because in Norwegian it what we call hair conditioner XD Just the thought of naming a child ‘hair conditioner’ is ridiculous!

As for more tree names, there are some Norwegian ones, but they’re very similar to the English 😉
Alm – Elm
Lind – Linden
Eik – Oak
Vier – Willow (prn. VEE-er)

Charlotte Vera Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Very interesting. I have friends who just named their daughter Tamar Sophia.

pippa Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

We have friends that just named their son Banyan!

Emmeline Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Yew would make me crazy due to the sound of (if not the actual) bad grammar. “What is Yew doing?” “Yew is playing with his truck.”

Plus, “What’s your name?”-“Yew” conversation feels a little “Who’s On First?”

Linda Rosenkrantz Says:

October 20th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Thank yew–too true. I’m sure Hughs run into similar problems.

disa_lan Says:

October 21st, 2009 at 1:48 am

YAY! I love trees 🙂 This is a great blog.

Elea – Elowen is so pretty.

stephanie_elizabeth Says:

October 21st, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I love Bryony but don’t favor most other tree names in general. My best friend recently named her daughter Aspen (yes, a girl) but I have gotten around the unisex feel of it (which is why I’m not a fan b/c I don’t like unisex names) by calling her Penny.

Michele Says:

December 22nd, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Our son is named Linden.

There is another Linden in a playgroup, who is a girl. (A year younger than my son)

The girl has been teased regarding the name. My son has not.
I would say this name is less gender neutral than it seems.

Andre Says:

December 23rd, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Sequoya is used for BOYS not girls! Get your facts right and do some searching

lyndsayjenness Says:

January 3rd, 2010 at 6:54 pm

“Sequoya is used for BOYS not girls! Get your facts right and do some searching”

Wow! That’s harsh! There’s no reason it can’t be used for girls.

nicole Says:

January 12th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I wanted so much to name our daughter Sequoya – but my French husband just couldn’t say it right. It is a wonderful, strong female name.

Siobhan Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

My daughter is named Juniper. It is a wonderful name. She is four now and feels possessive of all Juniper plants. “My Juniper plants!” she calls them as she pets them fondly. I think it is great.

Baby Name of the Day: Sequoia | Appellation Mountain Says:

January 18th, 2011 at 7:21 am

[…] Nancy tells us that 14 boys received the name in 2009.  Even more girls were called Sequoia – a total of 71.  Nameberry puts it on their list of Tree Names suitable for Girls. […]

Nature Names: Fresh fruit names beyond Apple and Banana – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

May 12th, 2011 at 6:11 am

[…] area of nature names that hasn’t been explored as much is –don’t laugh—fruit names.  Maybe this was because […]

ebenezer.scrouge Says:

February 25th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

My names on there and I love my name its Ebony. Use the name guys its a good alternative to emily

paigemonroe Says:

March 10th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Andre…u need to get your facts straight and learn how to spell
The name Sequoia is used as a girls name also when u say it
It sounds more girly then boyish..I could not imagine using the name Sequoia as a boy name unless I would want him to be teased…Oh you need to learn how to spell its not spelled Sequoya it’s spelled Sequoia!!!

paigemonroe Says:

March 10th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Also I’m due March 22 2013, I’m having a little girl and I’m naming her Sequoia 🙂 I think it’s a beautiful name

elifsu Says:

July 14th, 2015 at 5:44 am

Turkish versions
Acacia- Akasya
Apple- Elma
Bay- Defne
Cherry- Kiraz
Cinnamon- Tarçın
Juniper- Ardıç
Laurel- Define
Linden- Ihlamur
Magnolia- Manolya
Mimosa- Mimoza
Myrtle- Mersin
Plum- Erik LOL!
Senna- Sinameki
Sequoia- Sekoya

Forest- Orman
Leaf- Yaprak
Moss- Yosun

elifsu Says:

July 14th, 2015 at 5:45 am

Edit: Laurel is Defne also not define

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