Fear not the frog entering the house, fear instead the three trees in front of the gate: Which three trees are so intimidating?

These are the 3 types of trees that ancient people advised against planting in front of their homes.


The folk culture often contains deep meanings about plants, and many classical poets incorporate the imagery of trees into their works to express their emotions and reflections.

Trees have existed for a long time in history, even before humans appeared. Therefore, trees have been associated with various special meanings in different regions of the world since ancient times. The ancients have told many legends revolving around the image of trees. One of the famous proverbs about this is: “Do not be afraid to have a toad enter the house, just three trees in front of the door.” So what are those three trees?

To understand the meaning of this proverb, we need to analyze both its literal and figurative meanings. In traditional belief, toads are often seen as symbols of luck and wealth, similar to the image of bats. This explains why in the past, many families considered having a toad enter the house as a good omen, expecting prosperity and abundance.

As for planting trees in front of the house, this has long become a part of folk culture. People often plant trees that have good meanings such as pomegranate trees, peach trees, and Alstonia scholaris trees, hoping to bring wealth, happiness, and health to their families.

However, there are three types of trees that people usually avoid planting in front of their houses, what are they?

Hawthorn tree

In Eastern culture, especially in China and Vietnam, hawthorn trees are often associated with grief and loss. The reason comes from the phonetic similarity between the word “hawthorn” and the words “pain” or “mourning” (in Chinese-Vietnamese). This creates a strong linguistic connection with negative connotations. According to folklore, planting hawthorn trees in front of the house can bring about sad events, even mourning for the homeowner.

Willow tree

In folk culture, willow trees are often associated with the image of separation and sadness. Willows have delicate leaves that sway in the wind, creating an image of a gentle but profound separation. In some Eastern legends, willow trees are also seen as trees that can guide the souls of the deceased back to the other world. Therefore, planting a willow tree in front of the house is considered a sign of separation, loss, or even death.

Jackfruit tree

According to some feng shui experts, planting jackfruit trees in the garden symbolizes harmony and solidarity. Some also believe that jackfruit trees represent resilience, calmness, and wisdom. However, jackfruit trees are included in the list of trees that should not be planted in front of the house.

Jackfruit trees can grow tall with a wide trunk and wide leaf canopy, requiring ample space for growth. Planting jackfruit trees in the garden will be more suitable for this requirement. Planting jackfruit trees in front of the house can limit the space for the tree to grow and make the cleaning work difficult. At the same time, if the jackfruit tree grows too tall, it can obstruct the light and make the house gloomy and cold.

Frequently asked questions

Trees have existed long before humans and have been a part of our world for centuries. As a result, they have taken on various symbolic meanings in different cultures worldwide. Ancients told legends and proverbs centered around trees, such as the saying, “Do not be afraid to have a toad enter the house, just three trees in front of the door.”

The proverb suggests that while toads are considered symbols of luck and wealth, similar to bats, there is a cautionary tale about the three trees in front of the door. It invites us to explore the deeper meaning and potential consequences of these trees’ presence.

The three types of trees that are usually avoided in front of houses are the Hawthorn tree, the Willow tree, and the Jackfruit tree. Each of these trees carries cultural and symbolic associations with grief, loss, separation, and even death in Eastern cultures.

In Eastern cultures, particularly in China and Vietnam, the Hawthorn tree is linked to sadness and loss due to the phonetic similarity between “hawthorn” and words for “pain” or “mourning.” Its presence in front of a house is believed to invite unfortunate events and even mourning for the homeowner.

The Willow tree is often associated with separation and sadness. Its delicate, wind-blown leaves create an image of gentle yet profound parting. In Eastern legends, the Willow tree is also believed to guide the souls of the deceased to the afterlife, further solidifying its association with loss and separation.

While the Jackfruit tree symbolizes harmony, resilience, calmness, and wisdom, it is not ideal for planting in front of a house due to its potential size and space requirements. It can grow tall with a wide trunk and canopy, blocking light and making the house dark and cramped.
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