Few day ago, I saw a ‘money tree’ in the north shore of Sydney harbour. The tree was full of five dollars notes. The tree was turned into a ‘money tree’. Passing people looked at the tree with surprise. Some people tried to use their umbrellas and cloths to get the money.
The money tree was done by one of the investment banks in Sydney. It’s aim was to encourage people to invest their money to the bank.
People knows there are no such tree which can growth money out of its branches. Money tree is a commercial term which is commonly used by financial institutes for building up wealth. Money grows as tree grows.
In Chinese culture, people likes to name plants and tree with lucky names, such as a tropical plant Pachira Aquatica(马拉巴栗）is often referred to as the Money Tree (发财树）. The origin of the name seems to refer to an old tale , where a poor man prayed for money, found an odd plant, took it home as an omen, and made money selling plants grown from its seeds.
Chinese people like to use lucky names to name the plants. Such as Jade plant,玉树 (Crassula ovata ); Happy plants快乐树 ; Harmony flowers 百合(lily)； Success Journey 一帆风顺（white lily). See the attached picture for example.
From feng shui perspective, tree and plants relate to wood element. Wood is one of the five basic elements. It is one of the most important elements to keep the environment in good balance. Without wood element, means no trees and flowers in the environment, the world will be bored and ugly, natural disastas will occur. Hence, trees are important to our society, perhaps they are more important then money.