The tree is an illustration that the storyteller impersonates during one of his performances at the coffeehouse. The tree describes how it was once part of a larger story but was separated from the rest of the book during a robbery. Its sadness at existing in isolation relates to the ongoing debate over whether single illustrations should be permitted within the Islamic artistic tradition, or whether such lone illustrations are blasphemous and encourage idolatry.
The timeline below shows where the character The Tree appears in My Name is Red. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: I Am a Tree
...pages of the manuscript were carried long distances by messengers, including the picture of the tree. One night, the messenger carrying the tree was ambushed by thieves who robbed, raped, and... (full context)
Chapter 21: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
...miniaturists, he has completed most of the book’s illustrations, including a depiction of Death, a tree, Satan, a horse, a dog, and a coin. Enishte considers telling Black he wants him... (full context)