During the war, nearly all of Guernsey's trees were cut down as firewood, leaving the island bare in the present. Because of this, the absence of the trees comes to represent a sort of paradise lost as well as the horrors of the war: the island's trees are just some of many casualties that Guernsey suffered. However, in the present, islanders like Eben and Eli begin to plant trees in the hope of returning the island to its former wooded beauty. In this way, the new trees symbolize the islanders' hope for the future: that, like the trees, the islanders themselves will be able to recover, regrow, and flourish.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Trees appears in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, 10th March, 1946
Part One, 10th April, 1946
Part Two, 27th May, 1946
Part Two, 12th June, 1946
Part Two, 21st June, 1946
...was awful; there's destruction everywhere. People and tractors are trying to move the rubble. The trees are charred sticks only. The innkeeper explained that the Germans ordered the trees chopped down,... (full context)