How to Carve Hearts in a Tree

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Carve a heart into a tree to display your affection for a loved one.
Carve a heart into a tree to display your affection for a loved one. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Trees are some of the longest living organisms on the planet; the world's oldest trees are around 5,000 years old. Because trees can live for hundreds of years, ancient peoples carved symbols, called arborglyphs, into them. People still carve into trees to create a lasting reminder of the feeling they have for a loved one. Carve a heart and the initials of your loved one into the bark of a tree to show them that your feelings will live on for many years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Penknife
  • Chalk

Use a piece of chalk to trace the outline of a heart into the tree. Start with a question mark shape without the dot to trace one side of the heart. Then draw the mirror image of that shape. Make sure the tops and bottoms of the shapes meet forming a symmetrical heart shape.

Go over the chalk outline on the bark of the tree three or four times with a penknife; if you are carving into a tree with harder bark, such as an oak or elm; you may need to go over the outline five or six times. Blow the residue out of the lines after each time you carve the outline.

Use the blade of the penknife to carve the bark away from inside the outline of the heart. Wipe away the trimmings and carve until there is no bark inside the heart.

Draw your initials and the initials of your loved one in the center of the heart with the chalk. Use the tip of the penknife to etch the initials into the wood of the tree, going over the initials two or three times so they are clearly visible.

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