The Secrets of the Trees
We hold our Mystic Magic in the Forest weekend retreats at Rosliston, in Rosliston National Forest, near Burton upon Trent, just south of Derby in the Midlands. Our retreats are themed, but often include an appreciation of nature, walks, the significance of trees in Spiritual and Pagan history, and their myths and legends. This blog charts the story, in instalments, of those trees, and all of those to be found at Rosliston, around forty species. Each tree is to be found at Rosliston,but may also be found more widely around Great Britain, Europe, North America and beyond.
In these blogs I describe each tree, explain where they are found, what their history is and how they have related to our history. I also explore the myths and legends surrounding the rees in different countries and from different traditions as well as how herbalists have used them to treat human conditions and how products from the trees have been used throughout history. I hope that you enjoy reading these tree blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you. If you would like to come and see them in their natural habitat why not join us for one of our retreats?
Bird Cherry – prunus padus
The bird cherry rarely exceeds fifteen metres in height and in spring is characterised by long clusters of petite white flowers and dark glossy fruit. Native to northern Asia, and Europe in the UK it is most commonly found in South Wales and East Anglia.
Its wood is used to make tobacco pipes, boiled the bark was used to ease stomach pains, raw it is poisonous to livestock. Landowners dubbed it “The Hog Tree” as it was associated with witches and deterred anyone from stealing it. In the Czech Republic its branches are used in the feats of St Barbara, the 4th Dec, so that its branches would have blossomed by Christmas.