The Tree of Life that is commonly pictured (as above) in the form of three pillars and seven plateuas was never used in the Jewish community. It was drawn out by a rather curious Jesuit monk and ployglot named Athanasius Kircher in the year 1653, in his work Aegypticus Oedipus.
While the easy to read layout of the Sephiorth has been handy for hundreds of years of developement of magical and alchemical theory in the west, it perhaps misses the point of such works as the Zohar, where the movement of the spirit is a moving and mysterious narrative, not a chart for studying personality traits, or vices and virtues. In the Zohar, the Sephiroth are barely mentioned at all, and never (as far as I know) by name. To lay them out in a neat, tidy diagram is somewhere between gaudy, ludicrous or blasphemous. In other words, Kaballah was meant as a story, and not a map.
On the other hand, the diagram undoubtdly was a piece of work on the part of Fr. Kircher, and it certainly makes a better impression in the freshly bombed skies of Tokyo-3 than several hundred thousand lines of Hebrew text.