‘All My Works Are a Form of Wishing’  

Yoko Ono – Wish Tree

 By Madeline Bocaro

© Madeline Bocaro, 2019. No part of this site may be reproduced or re-blogged in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner.

This is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography –

An all-embracing look at Yoko Ono’s life and work, in stunning detail.

Read all about the book, see the reviews and

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I have made many wishes on Yoko’s trees. All of my wishes are for her. It is incredible that another person dedicated a wish to Yoko as well…

‘We are enriched by the experiences of this woman laid bare for us here’

– Unknown (found on Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree, Paris 2003)

Wish Tree is Yoko’s popular and most endearing work. It has grown into a limitless worldwide forest of wishes, which she collects and places inside another of her works, the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik Iceland.

As a child, Yoko visited Japanese shrines where it is an old custom for people to purchase and tie pre-printed tags with messages onto trees. The wishes were simple, such as ‘Good Luck’ or ‘Good Health’. The multitude of white papers tied to the trees resembled blooming white flowers. Yoko decided that this time people should write their own wishes.

“Many of my works are related to something in my roots. Wish Tree comes from root experience as a child in Japan.”  – Yoko


“The wishes that we make, even if it’s just written on paper and nobody sees it, I think they do affect the world and the universe.”

– To Hans Ulrich Obrist, The Architecture Interview, Van Alen Institute, NY, June 2008

Wish Tree descends from Yoko’s earlier work, Hammer A Nail.

Yoko’s 1961 version in her book Grapefruit– asked us to tie a piece of our hair on the nails.

Wish Tree, which began in 1981 has become Yoko’s most popular and beloved work. The seeds have been spread worldwide, and forests of wishes are forever growing. Yoko collects all of our wishes and places them inside the wishing well in another of her amazing works, Imagine Peace Tower in the Isle of Videy Iceland.

Watch Piece I

Watch a hundred-year-old tree breathe.

Thank the tree in your mind for showing us how to grow and stay.

– Yoko, Acorn – 2013

Send your wish now!


“Sometimes I put a bowl at the window in my kitchen. There, I plant seeds of vegetables that I eat. They keep on growing. I watch them every day. The plants watch me too. They understand exactly what I’m thinking about. So when I’m sad, the plants hang their heads too, and when my sadness lasts for a long time, they turn yellow and finally they fade. When I feel well, they do not fade, even if I don’t give them any water. Scholars all over the world show scientific evidence for such relationships between human beings and plants. Lately, there are many people who talk to plants and trees. People who think this is absurd abuse their common sense. I think this is a prejudice produced by society, and I believe that those people are so stuck by this that they cannot react naturally.”

Yoko, 1986

This story is an excerpt from my Yoko Ono biography

In Your Mind – The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

The true story of the woman John Lennon loved.

Now in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library & Archives

On several Best Books lists

Acclaimed by MOJO & Goldmine

Recommended by Olivia Harrison

Honorable Mention in The Beatles Gift Guide

Spotlighted on The Beatles Channel, Sirius XM Radio

558 pages.



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