Fairy Trees and Bushes

There are many 'Fairy Trees'  along the roadsides and especially at the crossing of roads throughout Ireland.  Usually these are gnarled old Hawthorn bushes.  Also considered sacred were the Oak and the Ash.  

While many magic wands were made from the Rowan branch.  It is considered a profanation to destroy them or even to remove one of their branches.  Many different types of otherworld creatures are said to dwell in the tree or nearby. 

  Pookas, Cluricaunes and mysterious white-clad women have all appeared near these trees and bushes.  Superstitious people do not like to pass them by late at night.  In the days when horses were the chief transportation there were many stories of the lone-horseman who is accosted by the lady in white as he rides along and she climbs up behind him on the horse and puts her arms around him, which are deathly cold.  Then she rides along with him for a while and suddenly disappears. 

In Ireland if the three fairy trees, Oak, Ash and Thorn grow together it is particularly auspicious and this is venerated even more than the single tree.

Source: O'Hanlon, John - Irish folklore: Traditions and Superstitions of the Country. first published 1870. republished by EP Publishing Ltd., 1973.

Stories and Legends associated with Fairy Trees and Bushes

Fairies or no Fairies

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