To the Japanese, Cherry blossoms have meaning beyond their beauty and beyond their value as a producer of delicious fruit.  It is interesting to note that the Japanese love their cherry tree so much they also eat the leaves and blossoms.  Cherry blossoms mean a number of things.  They symbolize clouds due their habit of blooming in large masses.  The fact that they are extremely beautiful and fragrant but die so quickly is symbolic of the mortality of humans.  Cherry blossoms figure in Japanese art, their anime and are popular in tattoos when combined with other popular symbols including koi, dragons or tigers .  Blossoms were used during World War II to motivate the citizens and promote nationalism as well as support for their military.  The Cherry blossom is only one example of cultural values ascribed to trees.  To the Hindus, the pipal tree is.  They regard it as a place of dwelling for Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The sausage tree (Kigelia africana) is important in Kenya as it is believed to shelter spirits for female fertility.  Cutting this tree in communities where it is sacred is forbidden. Thus, the importance of tree conservation lies not only in their biological and ecological importance but also in their cultural value for different communities and ethnic groups.

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