Favorite Quotes: Chinese Proverb on the Best Time to Plant a Tree

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

Here is one of my favorite quotes. I find this proverb very inspiring in many ways.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”Chinese Proverb

What this quote means to me

The message I get out of this is that it’s never to late to accomplish the things you want to accomplish.

In every day life we all have things we want to do. Maybe our personal goals or something we have always wanted to do, some place to see, or something to accomplish. We could have tried to accomplish it sooner, which may have been a better time, but we can still accomplish those things today — now. This quote inspires me to get out there and do all the things I want to do.

The investor in me views the trees as investments. The best time to start investing was 20 years ago. The second best time to start investing is now. There’s another quote regarding investing that also fits with this: “It’s not timing the market, it’s time in the market.” Time in the market basically means the longer you have investments, the longer your investments have been growing and making you money.


Overall, I think this is a great inspirational quote. We all have trees we want to plant. We shouldn’t give up hope, since we can still plant our tree today.

4 thoughts on “Favorite Quotes: Chinese Proverb on the Best Time to Plant a Tree

  1. Although this comment is very late I just felt the need post it as I’ve seen other people on the internet making the same mistake. It is in fact an African proverb. Dambisa Moyo, from Zambia, ends her book “Dead Aid” with that quote, followed by “African proverb”.


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