Artistic body painting makes a very generous use of a whole range of tree tattoo models, particularly due to the rich symbolism of the representations. First and foremost, any culture has its myths and stories related to particular trees: think of the importance of the cherry trees in the Japanese culture or the way Buddha reached enlightenment under the branches of the Bodhi tree. A tree tattoo is most commonly related to rejuvenation and regeneration, as trees have always reminded one of the life cycle. After the barren and desolate winter months there comes the warmth and sunshine of spring with the buds of leaves and flowers.
The Internet can give one pretty vast ideas about what a tree tattoo is usually like. Some models use several colors and intricate patterns, whereas others rely on the simplicity of curves and bi-color representations. There are certain organizations and brotherhoods that use a tree tattoo as a symbol of their program: environmentalists have often used such symbols during campaigns for saving one nature corner or another. Thus, a temporary or permanent tree tattoo was created on a visible spot on one's body so as to give strength to the message and get attention more easily.
In Asia, a tree tattoo would indicate one's personal quest for the fulfillment of the being and the finding of sacredness. According to Scandinavian mythology, a tree tattoo would be a mere representation of the axis mundi, the tree that stands in the center of the universe with branches reaching to all the dimensions of the visible and the invisible worlds. Furthermore, if we were to judge by the mysticism of the Celtic beliefs, a tree tattoo would be the connection with the spirit that inhabits the tree. The list of symbolic interpretations could go on and on depending on the culture we turn to.
Last but not least, it would be unfair not to mention the fact that many people who get a tree tattoo made, don't have any form of symbolism in mind to justify their choice. The only criterion of selection for the tattoo model would thus be the aesthetic one. This is like “I'll get a tree tattoo because it looks cool”. To a certain extent, the reasons that trigger body painting in the first place justify and reveal one's personality, and regardless of the reasons that influence one choice or another, we are free to enjoy the experience as it is.