The Broccoli Tree: A Parable

  • Published on Mar 6, 2018
  • Some thoughts on what can be lost, and what can't be, when we share what we love.
    This video was produced, edited, and inspired by Seth Radley. Thanks to Patrik Svedberg for photographing the Broccoli Tree and for the rights to use his beautiful images in this video.
    Additional images by Elna Dahlstrand, Nina Mattsson, Mike Beauregard, and Shutterstock.

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Comments • 2 314

  • Francis Raj
    Francis Raj 9 days ago

    What is with this guy!? He makes me cry in his novels, now here!

  • oneblackhorse
    oneblackhorse 10 days ago

    Very sad. I disagree with the remark "...but its beauty survives." It's sawed down, it's destroyed! Its beauty hardly "survives." It's GONE. KILLED. And for what? People, if you see something beautiful, keep it to yourself! Share it with too many people and some stupid idiot will destroy it! Stop being obsessed with sharing everything on social media!

  • Voyagersguidebook
    Voyagersguidebook 12 days ago

    This is beautiful and classic, just like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

  • Kevin W
    Kevin W 14 days ago

    This video always makes me cry. Thank you John.

  • Bobbi Zehner
    Bobbi Zehner 17 days ago

    An emotional journey... which Hank brings full circle. Tack sa Mycket

  • groupe sinf
    groupe sinf 22 days ago

    I feel so sad about it .... Miss you my brocoli tree. I'm going to talk about you in class to remember you and to remiind people never forget you... We loved you... Only people turn it fame.... So sad... Word don't turn round.

  • RileysFilms
    RileysFilms 23 days ago

    Okay, someone help me out here. The video says it was published on the 6th of March 2018, but I came back to this video after remembering the beautiful story behind it and I swear I first saw it in 2013. Seriously. Am I going mad? There is no way this was released earlier this year! I honestly feel like this story has stuck with me for years.

    • RileysFilms
      RileysFilms 23 days ago

      That's it, I've cooked it. Checking out @thebroccolitree on Instagram confirms it came out this year and wasn't reuploaded. False memories are such a strange phenomenon.

  • Ethan Taliaferro
    Ethan Taliaferro 28 days ago

    i come back to listen to this video like once a month and it's message never ceases to inspire

  • Nerdfighter 52584
    Nerdfighter 52584 Month ago

    I seriously just started crying. This is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever heard and touching videos I've ever seen. This is a work of art.

  • burpingcricket
    burpingcricket Month ago

    This might be the best vlogbrothers video ever and I don’t even fully know why.

  • Lamborghini124
    Lamborghini124 Month ago +1

    The tree is dead.

  • Sharkfoot 9
    Sharkfoot 9 Month ago +1

    Nooooooooooo. Not the broccoli tree, how could he die like that

  • David Szczesniak
    David Szczesniak Month ago

    man why do people gotta be cunts

  • NCflame
    NCflame Month ago

    This is what every vlogbrothers video should be like

  • Messed Up Hina
    Messed Up Hina Month ago

    “I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars.

  • Messed Up Hina
    Messed Up Hina Month ago

    I hate and love humans

  • Hannah Marie Steele

    This made me so sad

  • Nicolas K
    Nicolas K Month ago +2

    I know this is an old video, but I read a post by the original photographer in the reviews for the location on Google Maps.
    "The beautiful Broccoli Tree was severly damaged by hoodlums equipped with chainsaws. The tree was in such a bad condition that the local commune had no other opportunity than to take down the whole tree... The Broccoli Tree was a popular tourist destination and through social media it was known far beyond Huskvarna.
    I have followed this particular tree since I moved to the area in 1992. I didn't invent the term Broccoli Tree and I didn't make it famous, but for me and for many other photographers from the area this particular tree has always been a central point at the beach in Huskvarna. Over the years we have taken thousands of pictures of bridal couples, children, sunbathers and festive people with the tree in the background. It's sad that the tree is gone but I'we decided to continue to document the resurrection of the Broccoli Tree."
    But most importantly:
    *"Many local people have taken branches from the three wich they have planted in their gardens. The tree will live on for many years to come. And I hope that I will be able to share some of the photos here."*

  • Neele Knolle
    Neele Knolle 2 months ago

    And again I am crying. This is my absolute favorite viedeo, you have on your chanel!

  • Suraj
    Suraj 2 months ago

    It made my day.. Thanks a lot..

  • Nikki Bakas
    Nikki Bakas 2 months ago

    Anyone know where to buy prints?

  • Haoyu Du
    Haoyu Du 2 months ago

    This was so beautifully written. The 5th time I'm watching this and I'm still shedding tears for both the tree and the story.

  • Marthy Roxas
    Marthy Roxas 2 months ago

    Hi, John. There is a chance that the tree is not entirely gone. If the cut is clean and the roots are still there, there is a chance it will grow back. It may not look like it was before, but it may still be there. I don't know I may just be optimistic.

    • Patrik Svedberg
      Patrik Svedberg 2 months ago

      Today it´s actually more of a bush. With some imagination, little bit heart shaped ;)

  • Felipe Cano
    Felipe Cano 3 months ago

    Wow 😮😮😮😮

  • Pit Viper XP
    Pit Viper XP 3 months ago

    Hank cut the tree. That's why hes mentioned TWICE ✌

  • Ava.florez1
    Ava.florez1 3 months ago

    Woah! That was deep

  • john nunya
    john nunya 3 months ago

    And I thought I'd make it one day without focusing on how much I hate people....

  • MagicalFruitBasket
    MagicalFruitBasket 3 months ago

    "Tree's gonna get cut down innit"
    Every. Single. Time

  • giofontenelle
    giofontenelle 4 months ago

    ‪”you absolutely cannot un-saw a tree‬.” - i keep going back to this phrase even after months.

  • Jagyanseni Pruthal
    Jagyanseni Pruthal 4 months ago

    Nooo!! I wanted to visit it 😢

  • Buğra Kaan Akıncı
    Buğra Kaan Akıncı 4 months ago

    Although the tree was damaged, judging by how a very big portion of it was left, I think it wasn't intended to kill the tree. Hopefully, it will recover and keep on providing the once glorious shade it had been providing for all of its lifetime.

  • Jimmie the Commie
    Jimmie the Commie 4 months ago

    It should be illegal to give us these kinds of feels

  • টোল জামাই/ V's moonchild mahir

    I'm crying, this reminds me of the poem 'the trees are down' and I can't believe how people can do such things

  • Pangasauras
    Pangasauras 4 months ago

    What kind of a-hole cuts down a tree just because people like it?

  • Rainbow Hyphen
    Rainbow Hyphen 4 months ago

    You can't un-saw a tree. But you can plant one, and be patient.

  • Grizzy Harpie
    Grizzy Harpie 5 months ago

    So i'm guessing the people who disliked this video did it by accident.
    Cause my mind is not able to come up with a valid reason whatsoever.

  • Dominique west
    Dominique west 5 months ago

    BOOK IDEA......The Broccoli Tree

  • Bunny
    Bunny 5 months ago

    This video is beautiful. Thanks, John.

  • MyrtheMysterious
    MyrtheMysterious 5 months ago

    I love how you took something quite sad, and turned it into a beautiful story - still sad, but inspiring as well... thanks for that

  • Morea Fen
    Morea Fen 5 months ago

    Am I the only one who comes back to this video again and again for comfort?

  • Sovanjan Banerjee
    Sovanjan Banerjee 5 months ago


  • BraverThanYouBelieve
    BraverThanYouBelieve 5 months ago

    omg im crying about a tree :'(

  • Beautiful Images
    Beautiful Images 5 months ago

    Nice video dear keep it up

  • priyam pranjuleema dutta

    I am 3 months late !!! But this is so heartbreaking!!

  • Kitty
    Kitty 5 months ago

    why did you make me cry about a tree

  • manic mechanic
    manic mechanic 5 months ago

    It only takes one idiot to destroy something worth saving. As a lover of classic cars I Know this all to well.

  • Mirjam M
    Mirjam M 6 months ago

    I don't agree with you that it was still worth it. The Broccoli tree most certainly would still be there if it wasn't for its fame. Yes, many people around the world ''took shelter under it's canopy'' but is the admiration of many people for something worth the ultimate abolition of that thing? Can we say it was still worth it? I can't. I think that getting to know and loving something is just fine and something we should be doing as human beings, but giving a public identity to the object of our admiration thus endangering it to the inevitable hatred and stupidity we KNOW exists is not right even though many people might benefit. Especially if you don't have the means to protect it.
    I don't think ideas are worth causing pain or dying for. And the pleasure we as humans had by seeing the photographs of the tree and growing fond of it is not worth that tree being cut down. Now, of course I understand that the photographer didn't want things to come to this but what I am saying is that we shouldn't comfort ourselves with the notion that ''at least someting beautiful came out of this'' I think because things have intrinsic value regarldess of value givers - us. And that is something that would be irresponsible and wrong to manipulate with e.g. put on a display to ''share the beauty''. It is not worth it. That's why it would have been better if, although - I agree - sad, the author of the photos would have discarded the idea and enjoyed the tree by himself when walking to work each morning...

    • Patrik Svedberg
      Patrik Svedberg 2 months ago

      I´m "the author of the photos" and the only thing I can say is that I 100% agree to this. The "fame" was more of an accident, much due to that Instagram themself one day lifted it up to their blog. Me myself would have preferred a much slower case, with me sitting there in a chair even after retirement... But here we are.

  • Eudel Ayuban
    Eudel Ayuban 6 months ago

    this makes me so sad.

  • Little Blue Dot
    Little Blue Dot 6 months ago +1


  • Mikey Moughtin
    Mikey Moughtin 6 months ago

    this video is pretty much one line. "you cannot un-saw a tree, but you can't un-see it either."

  • Sammy Leo
    Sammy Leo 6 months ago

    My favorite John Green novel.

  • Brian Hutzell
    Brian Hutzell 6 months ago

    In a way, this video has become a broccoli tree for me. I keep coming back to it. I react differently to it depending on my mood, and how my day has gone. I’ve given it a thumbs up and shared it and linked to it from other social media sites. It feels intensely personal and private, like part of a late-night conversation between just you and me, exposing our innermost secrets, but I don’t want to hoard it for myself. I want other people to see it and appreciate it with me. John, you made a video about something lovely being destroyed, and in doing so turned a tragedy into something beautiful. I love all the silliness, inside jokes, and peanut butter faces, but the main reason I watch Vlog Brothers is that you highlight the awesome in the world. Thank you!

  • Gustavo Bolson
    Gustavo Bolson 6 months ago +1

    I keep coming back to this video time and time again. I truly believe it is the most touching piece of storytelling I have ever seen. Thank you for making me think in a way I have not thought in a long time.

  • Pheobe Owusu
    Pheobe Owusu 6 months ago

    Sometimes I forget that John is a professional writer. Then he uploads something like this.

  • Talbot Solenberger
    Talbot Solenberger 6 months ago +1

    These are some of my favorite videos on vlogbrothers and in all of youtube. videos like these, and Thoughts from Places.

  • Fall_Out Boy
    Fall_Out Boy 6 months ago

    Wow. Just wow.

  • Dont Fuck With Me Youtube

    Goddamn John Green is a great writer.

  • Daniel Moore
    Daniel Moore 7 months ago

    I'M GONNA FIND THOSE S.O.B'S AND CUT THEM DOWN!!!! (Beautiful film, Hank)

  • Lian D
    Lian D 7 months ago

    This made me teary eyed 😢

  • Matthew Cupelli
    Matthew Cupelli 7 months ago

    This is such a beautiful video

  • Daniel Hale
    Daniel Hale 7 months ago +1

    Someday someone is going to be explaining to their children that their claim to fame in life is destroying something other people loved, only because they loved it, just to hurt them. They had no horse in this race; just wanted to hurt people. Their claim to fame now is being needlessly malicious. It's their personal identity, their personality, if not before, then certainly now. It's who they are now, not because they never had the potential to be more, but because the act, the choice, severed that alternate potential. Even such a small act; it was who they chose to be, and it will stand in the way of future choices.
    I wonder if they have the ability now to ever be better than that, instead of repeating and amplifying the malice over a lifetime. Honestly I doubt it, but there's always those crazy reversals that make for a good story. If only because they are so, so rare.

  • Oh, Marge.
    Oh, Marge. 7 months ago

    "To share something is to risk losing it." I feel this so deeply.

  • Microwave
    Microwave 7 months ago


  • Jagh Haringenamn
    Jagh Haringenamn 7 months ago

    I just realized how difficult it is to pronounce Vättern for a non-swede.

  • Matthew Rowland
    Matthew Rowland 7 months ago

    Does this feel like episode zero of The Anthropocene Reviewed to anyone else?

  • Kyle McCallum
    Kyle McCallum 7 months ago +1

    I've been following you guys for over half a decade now and I think this is the most beautiful video you've posted yet.

  • SilverFlame819
    SilverFlame819 7 months ago +1

    How sad that some people are so shitty that they can only feel good about tearing things down that other people love. What a pitiful existence they must lead.

  • Annie
    Annie 7 months ago +6

    I'm still torn on whether I'd have been happier not sharing the pictures and yet having the tree around vis-a-vis what happened.

  • Morgan Freeman
    Morgan Freeman 7 months ago

    Why am i crying about a tree 👏😢😢

  • Bad Gammers
    Bad Gammers 7 months ago +1

    I feel irrationally angry over this. . .

  • Jermane Anyoha
    Jermane Anyoha 7 months ago +1

    You took me on a journey

  • Amber Kearney
    Amber Kearney 7 months ago +1

    WTH.....who would do that????

  • jyjryu22799
    jyjryu22799 7 months ago

    This makes me absolutely furious

  • OP's OC
    OP's OC 7 months ago +1

    I cry for a tree but the troll in me is laughing. Too wide a personality.

  • Rae Raaj
    Rae Raaj 7 months ago

    This was incredibly moving and profound. Thank you

  • Clara Heis
    Clara Heis 7 months ago

    Willy, I assume, has died. And I would like to say that he was the broccoli tree of us nerdfighters and we love him dearly. It’s now April and we miss him so. Goodbye little Willy.

  • Zenytram Searom
    Zenytram Searom 7 months ago

    why some people has an urge to destroy the happiness of other people, and the more popular it is the greater that urge to destroy them, why this exist?

  • Daphne Stainbrook
    Daphne Stainbrook 7 months ago +1

    Man, that was beautiful. You should become a writer or something.

  • Cooper Beggs
    Cooper Beggs 7 months ago


  • Shall NotWither
    Shall NotWither 8 months ago

    As a broccoli tree has his metal tested so man too will stand before a judge.

  • GOGOgomes
    GOGOgomes 8 months ago

    i also had a tree i my life, it was in this park near my childhood home, it was twisted and low to the ground, so much that you could climb it up with no effort, i called her the DragonBikeShip, tree because when i climb it up it could be any of those things, and i remeber beeing excited more with the possibilities of what i could to with the tree, rather them the actual things i ended up doing't, i din't shared my tree, but it ended being cut down too, i would like to had shared my tree, because instead of share my memories of a dead tree, i would share the same felling of a kid playing in the park.

  • Books From Boo
    Books From Boo 8 months ago +1

    This is my absolute favorite video of vlogbrothers

  • Emma Clark
    Emma Clark 8 months ago +1

    This is fantastic.

  • Nirav Shah
    Nirav Shah 8 months ago +1

    Just one word for this vlogpost - Wow!

  • BvousBrainSystems
    BvousBrainSystems 8 months ago +1

    I'm all ready to type "sad profound music" on TVclip and have a fantastic evening.

  • The Night King
    The Night King 8 months ago

    this makes me cry, every time. that part where hank says you loved something and you shared it but eventually...

  • mike w
    mike w 8 months ago +1

    How's it going John I don't know if you will ever see this but it doesn't really matter. I just wanted to say that both you and hank and everyone at crash course has changed my life and how i see the world and history around me. You rekindle my love of History and I just wanted to say thank you to you and Hank and everyone that's involved with the things that you guys do. And I hope that you all have happy healthy and long lives for you and your families and know that I will never forget to be awesome.

  • hey buddy you in cape town?

    alltså vilka jävla hönshjärnor som gör ngt sånt >:(

  • Abdan Syaifur Rachman
    Abdan Syaifur Rachman 8 months ago +1


  • Meri dian
    Meri dian 8 months ago

    thank you John

  • JessGeeks
    JessGeeks 8 months ago

    You did not just make me want to cry over a tree omg

  • Madisyn Arnold
    Madisyn Arnold 8 months ago

    i didn't expect to be sobbing about a tree but here i am

  • Bayli Chelsea
    Bayli Chelsea 8 months ago

    "If we hoard and hide what we love, we can still lose it, but then we are alone in the loss."
    My heart.

  • Bayli Chelsea
    Bayli Chelsea 8 months ago


  • Alix Mordant
    Alix Mordant 8 months ago +1

    So darn sad! That place looks like a boring bare wasteland now. I lived in lots of places in Europe (including Sweden, actually Jonkopings lan, where the Broccoli tree was - I may have seen it). And every year many delightful trees (nearly always the rarer and frankly more beautiful deciduous trees) got cut down in all those places, leaving me sad and infuriated. And there are no new trees planted as a (meager) replacement either!
    Commercial plantations of (mostly spruces and other) coniferous trees darken the landscapes in northern and central Europe, impoverishing the habitat. The gorgeous native deciduous trees get less and less, especially as whole forests.
    About the Broccoli tree: It should have not been cut down as a whole because of that one cut. Sure, it may have lost some of its famous shape, but it would have survived as a nice tree, doing its important "job" in nature, if the authorities would have only cut that one bole. Deplorable decision.

  • Bear McBear MC
    Bear McBear MC 8 months ago

    The google maps page for the broccoli tree is like a memorial now it's so sad.
    "Closed permanently," in red letters.

  • Trevor Castle
    Trevor Castle 8 months ago

    Similar phenomenon going on like a social experiment on reddit right now at sorry only works if you had a reddit account made before april 1st 2018.

  • tolkienfan4ever
    tolkienfan4ever 8 months ago

    RIP Broccoli Tree.

  • Kenneth Cain
    Kenneth Cain 8 months ago

    Who the F**K would do something like that? Does anyone know? Oh well. Plant another one.

  • confusedwhale
    confusedwhale 8 months ago

    You might not be able to un-saw a tree, but you can plant the seeds of a new on in its place.
    Destruction is everywhere, but you can rebuild and start anew.