The relationship between trees and rituals and symbols is well described in anthropology, from classics like Turner’s milk tree in The Forest of Symbolsto more recent explorations by Rival, Brosse, and others inThe Social Life of Trees.Trees often appear in life cycle rituals or are used as kinship models, and are frequently seen deployed as images of continuity and reproduction as contrasted to images of change and destruction. Current research in fields of horticultural therapy, natural resources management, city and regional planning, and social‐ecological system resilience also acknowledge both biophysical and cultural aspects to trees in urban contexts. Historically trees have held special symbolic significance to residents of New Orleans, contributing to identity and sense of place. This paper includes observations of how in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, trees as symbols have been observed to take on additional and more explicit meanings related to determination to recover from the disaster and demonstrate community resilience. Further, the paper describes the author’s observation of a kind of ritualizationof the act of planting trees, which may result in deepening individual and community commitment to demonstrating and enhancing New Orleans’s resilience.