in til •  3 years ago 

On Concession Road 8 in Flamborough, Ontario I came across this interesting tree - loaded with all kinds and sizes of shoes. I wish I had thought to do a more detailed photo shoot of these shoes. They all must have great stories attached to them.  


Photo - @countrygirl

I thought I had found a one of a kind piece of “art” but there are hundreds in small towns near me.

A little research showed some interesting stories and facts that surprised me. There are many ideas and conflicting stories about the genesis of these shoe laden trees., but...

Shoe trees have been around for at least 100 years.

Where did the idea come from?

I’m pretty sure most of us have seen tossed shoes on overhead wires some time or another. Evidently this trend started after soldiers threw their boots onto power lines near their barracks to mark the end of their service.

It was noted that the tossed shoes on overhead wires, or even tree limbs, came from old fashioned bullying and sometimes even gang turf markings. 

In Europe hanging shoes were a sign that someone had died. In another article it was stated that the shoes were simply a kind of three-dimensional graffiti – something the shoe tosser could point to as evidence that they were there. 

Some say that the actual shoe tree phenomenon started during the Depression by a woman with a large family. When her children outgrew their shoes she put the shoes on a tree near the road so that anyone who needed them could take them. This trend caught on and many people paid it forward to help others in need.  


Today, the shoes are not taken or reused anymore but the craze continues– which is why shoe trees can be found on country roads, like the one I found.

I found these “rules” in a day trip guide regarding these trees.  

 Rule 1:  Never use nails on a tree. Preferably pick a tree that is on its last branches or a stump. 

Rule 2:  Tie shoes together and throw towards the higher branches, or place gently over a branch or notch. 

Rule 3:  Knock a pair of shoes off a shoe tree and you will be cursed. The shoes probably hold the spirit Manitou of their previous owners, and disturbing them, even accidentally, is a heinous sacrilege. (Taken from Roadside America) 

Rule 4:  Shoe trees can be dangerous. Watch for hornets nests, smelly old shoes attract hornets.

Sources – Toronto Star  

                   Ontario Tourism, Day Trip & Getaways North of Toronto 


Photos -– used by permission 

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

I have seen a shoe tree before, also in Canada up near North Bay. It must have been a different species because the one I saw had dozen and dozens of pairs of shoes hanging like fruit from its branches.


They probably read the "rules" and didn't want to injure the it's a "new age" tree :)

Thank you for the tip about the hornets nests! That makes complete sense but I would have never thought of it.


I know...that's a good tip! It would be MY dumb luck to get too close or look inside for the make or size of the shoe, just out of interest sake, and get swarmed. Not a fan of hornets or any stinging insect for that matter.

thanks for your good posting.
upvoted... ^^


This person is a spammer see there most recent comments!!!


@jacobcards - could you explain what you mean that @abdullar is a spammer?


@jacobcards ,
@abdullar is trying to get notice, surely that's not the way to downvotes another author.
Just because he is writing the same thing. Don't know, why? you should downvotes another upvoters.
@bullionstackers , steemit-attorney


thank you @bullionstackers for clarifying this situation. I wondered what the problem was.


He is writing the same comment for Everyone's Posts. Was consider SPAM
You are the author/owner of this post, you should stop this from happening. As much Rights as anyone else.
Too much of this thing happening, going to chase away all the upvoters.
I hope you understand what I am trying to say @countrygirl


Thanks for your comments @abdullar.

This is so cool and interesting. It's also a kind and charitable act for those who are less fortunate. Beautiful post, nicely presented and great shots. Thanks for sharing. Upvoted


Aw, thanks for your comments and kind words.

sorry for disturbing your posting @countrygirl.
@jacobcards, @bullionstackers.

i deleted most of my comments except upvoted or replied.
i'm very depressed today.


No, didn't disturb my post.......from what I have ben reading on other posts, you were just trying to make yourself succeed and didn't know the "rules"'s okay. I was more concerned about the comment made by jacobcards - I didn't understand what was happening. I'm new to steemit and am still learning the ins and outs. I think what @billionstackers was alluding to are bots....or people trying to scam the system somehow. Just change the way you reply, be real, authentic and you'll succeed's not a race. Sorry you are depressed - hope you come to terms with things soon.

loved your post - Did some of these guys upset you? I hope not...I'll protect you, countrygirl :)

· upset here. Thanks though.