not grow on trees

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not grow on trees

To not be abundant; to not be available freely, cheaply, or without effort. Most often used in the phrase "money doesn't grow on trees." I can't believe you spent your entire allowance on a silly video game. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know! Be prepared to pay a hefty salary for a talented programmer—they don't grow on trees.
See also: grow, not, on, tree
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not grow on trees

Fig. not to be abundant; not to be expendable. (Usually said about money.) I can't afford that. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. Don't waste the glue. That stuff doesn't grow on trees, you know.
See also: grow, not, on, tree
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

not grow on trees

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If you say that people or things of a particular kind do not grow on trees, you mean that they are very difficult to get. Mitchell could not be replaced in a hurry: agents with his expertise did not grow on trees. Investments worth $1.75 billion do not grow on trees. Note: People often say money doesn't grow on trees to tell someone that what they want will not be easy to pay for. All this extra money you want to spend doesn't grow on trees.
See also: grow, not, on, tree
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

not grow on trees

in. not to be abundant; not to be wasted. (Usually said about money.) Don’t waste the glue. That stuff doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
See also: grow, not, on, tree
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"It Doesn't Grow on Trees: Sources of Income" is a title from the financial Literacy for Life series for young readers in middle grades and up.
But the council shrug and say "bah humbug" and money doesn't grow on trees you know, they may even have to lay Santa off so sorry kids they'll be no Ho, Ho, Ho.
(Its motto: "Our paper doesn't grow on trees.") Ever-versatile industrial hemp can be churned into excellent paper products; companies such as Living Tree Paper and Crane & Co.
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