Visitors past make a wish for the Dali Wish Tree

“If a tree falls and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Hurricane Irma took down a number of our beloved St. Pete trees this past weekend. But the loudest sounds came from the mourning of the Dali’s Wish Tree.

A last stop on a whimsical day at the Dali Museum would lead visitors out into the gardens. There, they delight in a sculpture of Dali’s famous mustache, and in the peaceful shade of an whimsical tree. The Wish Tree, a ficus, was uprooted from South Florida during a 2010 storm, and transplanted to its haven behind the Dali Museum. There, it fell a number of times, until it was reinforced by cables and thick wires and donned “The Wish Tree,” a tradition out of Hindi and Scottish culture. For years, visitors to the Dali Museum have cut their admission wristbands (a different color for each day of the week), written their wishes on the back, and tied the paper wristband to the tree, in hopes that their wish comes true. Every few months, museum workers clear out the wristbands, and log the wishes for safekeeping.

This photo is courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times’ Melissa Lyttle

On Monday, following Irma’s impact, we posted a photo of the beloved fallen tree. As of Wednesday morning, the post has reached nearly 142,000 people, logged 376 comments, and has been shared 1,048 times. Many mourned it, tagging friends and loved ones to spread the news, and leaving comments like, “Many wishes to bring it back”, “Please save it!”, and “The Dali has amazing volunteers who will nurse it back to health.”

In response to our photo, The Dali Museum commented, “Trees can be replanted and replaced, so we consider ourselves and our friends and neighbors in Tampa Bay very fortunate, and the recipient of lots of Irma-focused good wishes. We are mindful that other areas suffered more extensive damage, and are keeping all in our thoughts.”

We do not yet know the fate of the Wish Tree, but we know it is a survivor, with good folks at the Dali Museum to nurse it back. Let’s all make a wish for its health.

About the author


Megan Holmes

By day, Megan writes, project manages, and plays an executive assistant who needs an assistant at Big Sea. By early morning and late night, she lives at CrossFit9 with a barbell in her hands. She believes that exercise is the greatest prescription for every ailment, but that a hot cup of coffee and a nice sour beer will do in a pinch. She loves all things local – so you might spot her trying out a new eatery, biking around this beautiful city, or walking her beloved Shiba Inu, Max.

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