|The Five Elements system is the most basic one among the Chinese systems of classification, and Tree is one of the Five Elements. In the archaic ontology of most primitive societies, tree is usually found to be the symbol of eternity and life. In this article, however, I argue that the primor-dial image of Tree in the Five Elements theory is axis mundi, and therefore the most important meaning of Tree is "communicating with Heaven." The article is divided into six sections. I first explore the tree image in the concepts of axis mundi, taichi/huangchi (the great ultimate/the supreme standard), and she (the shrine of the earth). I then discuss how Taoism and Confucianism adopted the Tree concept within their own intellectual systems and transformed it into a core concept of their philosophies. I suggest that by looking at the evolution of Tree's derivative meanings, we may find that communication with Heaven has always been a central preoccupation of Chinese thought.