Seashells hang from the trees at many SWFL beaches and the reason why is not certain. Locals say the shells hanging from the branches are there to remember a loved one or send prayers out to someone in need, like lighting a candle in church. This sentiment seems to be a common consensus but some shells have written messages on them and serve as a momentum of a good vacation to that particular beach.
Disturbing the shells or removing them from their place would serve as a bad omen
Whatever the reasons for visitors hanging the shells, the decorated trees add beauty and meaning to our local beaches. The shells are hung from many types of vegetation surrounding the water and are often shells that already have cracks and holes in them for easier hanging.
The shells are often white, bleached from the sun, and some seem to be engraved within a tree indicating it’s long-time presence. Disturbing the shells or removing them from their place would serve as a bad omen, locals say.