Trees were hugely significant to the ancient Celts. They believed different kinds of trees served different mystical purposes that helped them through their lives.
Celtic Tree Calendar
Based on the ogham alphabet and its association with trees.
The Alder Tree
Druids believed the Alder tree symbolised the balance between male and female.
The Apple Tree
Appears in several stories in myths and legends in many cultures. In Celtic mythology it is a symbol of youthfulness and rebirth.
The Ash Tree
The ancient Irish believed the Ash tree had healing qualities and saw it as one of a trilogy of sacred trees, along with the Oak and the Hawthorn.
The Aspen Tree
It was believed to have the power to communicate with the next world. The Celts also believed that the wood from the tree would protect them from spiritual harm.
The Birch Tree
The Celts believed the Birch tree had the power to purify and also protect them from spirits and evil fairies.
The Blackthorn Tree
There was a sinister mythology around the blackthorn tree. It was connected to witches and the goddess of winter.
The Elder Tree
Sacred to the Celts and they believed it protected them from evil spirits. However, the Christians took a very different view.
The Gorse Tree
The Celts believed that the Gorse tree was a symbol of love and fertility.
The Hawthorn Tree
The Celts believed it was bad luck to cut the branches of a hawthorn tree as it would disturb the fairies. However, in Britain and other parts of Europe it was associated with love.
The Hazel Tree
Sacred to ancient Celts and it was punishable by death to chop one down. The Romans and Greeks associated it with intelligence.
The Heather Tree
Covered the hills of Ireland with purple and white colours. It had many practical uses for the Celts and also mystical qualities.
The Holly Tree
Has played a key role in many cultures. Druids believed it had protective qualities while Christians believe it was part of Jesus’ crown of thorns.
The Ivy Tree
Seen by many cultures as an enemy of the vine tree. The Irish believed it protected them from evil.
The Christmas plant was a considered sacred by the druids and was thought to ward off evil, restore health and bestow fertility.
The Oak Tree
Has always been used for building things due to its strength. It was also thought to be associated with thunder and lightning.
The Reed Tree
Very important in Celtic folklore. It is thought to be an introduction to the Ogham calendar and was used by Druid scholars for writing equipment.
The Rowan Tree
Very sacred to the Druid Celts. They believed it symbolised death and buried it with their dead to protect them from evil spirits.
The Scots Pine Tree
One of the oldest tree species in existence. It symbolises many things including; eternal life, fertility, prosperity and vitality.
The Vine Tree
Introduced to Ireland by the Romans. The Irish later built vineyards wherever they went in the world.
The Willow Tree
The Druids used to say that the universe was hatched from two eggs that were nested in the Willow tree. It is a key element of the mythology of a number of cultures.
The Yew Tree
Associated with longevity and resurrection. It was revered by both the Druids and the Christians.