If only money really did grow on trees. This fantasy no doubt inspired the novelty money gift tree, where the leaves are made from real dollar bills. If it is a fertile tree, $20 and $50 bills will hang on the branches instead of $1 bills. Even a recipient who doesn't have a green thumb will appreciate and use the green from a money gift tree.
A money gift tree is a portable artificial tree or live tree where dollar bills are attached to the limbs as if they were leaves. A small dried ficus tree trunk with branches, typically used when making interior silk plant arrangements, can be used to make the tree. The money tree is often used as a party centerpiece where the guests can add money leaves and is given to the party's guest of honor.
The money gift tree can be used at a bridal or baby shower, wedding reception, retirement or an anniversary party. The intention is that the money is used to buy an expensive gift for the baby, for the couple's new home, for the retiree or for an anniversary vacation. The money added to the tree might be in addition to other gifts given by the guests, or it might be prepared by a group of some of the guests and presented to the receiver.
Some types of money trees will include envelopes instead of cash, which provide the givers privacy along with a way to be credited for their contribution. With a cash tree, the recipient may never know how much each guest contributed to the tree, or which guest gave to the tree. Gift certificates might also be used instead of cash.
While money trees are accepted in some cultures, they are often considered a faux pas in America. Asking for money is deemed tacky by some, and guests invited to a wedding are not necessarily expected to bring a gift. Although money dances and money trees are often features of a wedding celebration, many professional wedding planners advise against the practice. All guests might feel pressure to contribute to the tree if it's prepared by the host. But a money tree prepared by a few guests eases some of this pressure.
If hosting a party for a person or couple where gifts would be expected, a money tree could alleviate the hassle of party guests buying or choosing gifts for a picky recipient. The host will inform the guests ahead of time that in lieu of presents, a money tree will be provided and they are welcome to add a gift to the branches. The tree should not be prominently displayed at the gathering, to avoid putting all the focus on money solicitation.