Sacred trees; Trees of lore

July 5, 2022 · 2 minute read
Sacred trees; Trees of lore

There are all kinds of unique qualities of trees outside of their aesthetic appeal. Much of which arborists and tree fans alike are familiar with. Our health is a good example of an advantageous quality we gain from trees. 

The importance of trees and their relationship with humans dates back as far as humans themselves. Trees have long been revered as a source of healing and guidance. 

In fact, much of ancient folklore and mythology held trees with more sacrosanctity than most do now.  

Here’s some interesting old lore that was thought to be worthy and laudable for many years, maybe centuries. My colleagues and I are certainly in trouble with this first one…

-The alder- is said to protect the heart and the chest. In fairy tales, the alder is thought to be a gateway into other realms. 

-Whittle a rod out of hazel and you’ll have a tool to fight off evil spirits. 

-Burn birch wood to lift your mood and help you concentrate. 

-The hawthorn tree is a sacred tree and great peril may come to anyone that harms one. The May Queen is dressed in blossoms of a hawthorn for May Day. 

-Apple was considered food for the gods. An apple is a symbol for Aphrodite and if you cut one diagonally you’ll see her 5 pointed star. The apple tree is a symbol of fortune and cutting one down can mean the opposite luck. 

-Holly (we’re all in trouble…); It was a widespread belief that cutting down a holly would bring bad luck. These trees were used to keep goblins out of the house and to fight off witches. They were also thought to protect against lightning so they were planted near home. 

-Ash. Sending an ill child through the opening of a young ash that had been severed and held open with wedges, would cause the child to be healed as the tree healed. But the child should be washed in the mornings while healing with dew from the leaves. Vikings referred to this tree as The Tree of Life. 

Take what you want from these once strong but now fabled myths. 

I can’t help but think of a client of mine from years ago that wouldn’t let me work on her elm tree until she had a visit from her tree whisperer. All that time I thought he was deliberating with the tree but who knows, maybe he was getting advice from another world.