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Alison's Straight Talk Psychic Services


Fact and Folklore

'Look at a tree, a flower, a plant.
Let your awareness rest upon it.
How still they are, how deeply rooted in being,
Allow nature to teach you stillness
When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself
You connect with it at a very deep level.
You feel a oneness with whatever you perceive in and through stillness.
Feeling the oneness of yourself with all things is true love.' - Eckhart Tolle

Apples growing in our garden Click a name to view the article:
Apple Newton's tree and the original Bramley
Ash The Nordic World Tree - Yddrasil
Beech One of the most successful trees of Western Europe
Birch The tree which shares its name with Brighid
Chestnut Including some recipes
Elm The tree of communication but condemned to a short life by Dutch Elm Disease
Hazel The tree of poetic inspiration and the wisdom of the Otherworld
Holly Christmas decoration and the rival to the oak in folklore
Larch A tree which likes a cold climate whether in Scotland, the Alps or Siberia
Trees in Folklore and Mythology Lime The tree with more medicinal uses than any other. Its name means "to soothe"
Trees in Natural Healing Oak Sacred to the Druids as was the mistletoe which entwined it
Pear The twelve days of Chrstmas
Rowan The Rannock Rowan in splendid isolation
Sycamore Rabbie Burns and the Tolpuddle Martyrs
Thorn "And did those feet, in ancient times, walk upon England's mountains green?"
Walnut Pleasant to eat and with restorative properties but watch they don't give you a cough!
Whitebeam Some very rare and endangered species including two which only exist on the Isle of Arran
Willow Misrepresented as the tree of grief and sorrow, the willow is full of vitality
Yew Some of the oldest living things in the world

This is not a gardening essay. What I’m interested in here is the folklore and mythology surrounding trees. The Druids, for instance, held the oak to be sacred and often worshipped in oak groves. Also significant was the mistletoe which entwined itself around the oak trees. In Norse mythology we have the Ash Yggdrasill, which Odin and his brothers planted to hold the world in place.

There are about ninety million trees in Britain - roughly half as many again as the human population. Like humans, some are celebrities while others spend their lives in obscurity. Unlike us, they have extremely long lives and many growing today hail from the middle ages or before.

There are historically significant “landmark” trees dotted around Britain, for instance, Newton’s apple tree, or the original Bramley apple tree, which is still growing in Northamptonshire after having given rise to a forty million pound industry. I’ve listed some of the more interesting ones here and you might like to visit some of them. In this respect, I am greatly indebted to an excellent book: “The Heritage trees of Britain and Northern Ireland” by Jon Stokes and Donald Rodger (for publisher, etc., see the acknowledgement section at the end of this article.

All in all you can regard this less as a botanical exercise, more as a “tree blog”. Trees talking about themselves. However where I needed some factual information, I’ve relied heavily on the Observer’s book of trees, which is as good a reference as I can find.

I should add that this article will grow slowly over time along with the trees. As well as developing the script, I intend to visit and photograph as many of the trees as possible and add the pictures to the web page. Keep an eye on these articles now and again; hopefully the developments will be interesting.