From The Critic Vol. 43 No. 2 (Aug 1903)
The “Tree” stories show not only a similarly penetrative imagination, but a poetic view with which Miss Wilkins is not always credited, though it is not new in her. It is some time since she wrote her studies of women who resembled flowers. In the present stories, she has written of men and women who are not only like certain trees, but whose characters and careers are, in an indescribably subtle way, bound up in the life of the trees. The connection is not an idle or fantastic one. It does not require an exceptional vision to perceive that trees have character; to Miss Wilkins they have even gender. There is supreme pathos in “The Elm Tree.” “The Lombardy Poplar” is a comedy full of delightful Wilkins touches. “The Apple Tree” is a particularly successful bit of symbolism. It is a proof of the author's high originality that these stories cannot easily be classified. And it is further proof of the vitality of both series that they would be easily susceptible of translation into another language. Their meaning is independent of idiom or setting.
One reason for the satisfaction which these stories give is that the author's verbal art has developed with her creative ability. Her style has lost none of its simplicity, but has sloughed off the carelessness that used to offend her critics and has advanced markedly in point and finish.