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?
Norway Spruce – picea abies
The classic Christmas tree, common and widespread, it can often grow up to 40 metres with rich deep green needles and cones. Exceptionally, in Cumbria and Scotland they grow to 52 metres, attracting much wildlife.
A single Norway Spruce holds the record for being the most isolated tree in the world, located on Campbell Island Antarctica, 90 miles from the nearest other tree in the Auckland Islands. Its timber is called Whitewood and is very valuable for chipboard, paper pulp, building and joinery with it natural sheen. It also provides the material for several fences at Aintree, home to the Grand National.
Its use as Christmas tree was popularised by Queen Victoria who decorated their first British tree in 1841. In 1947 the people of Norway donated a tree to Trafalgar square as a gesture of thanks for Britain’s support during the second world war, that tradition has been maintained ever since.