A Fairy tree is usually a Hawthorn or an Ash tree but what makes them stand out from any other tree of its kind is their location. A Fairy tree is found standing by itself in a centre of a field or on the side of the road and they’re quite easy to spot, if you know what you are looking for. Some of these trees have stones surrounding its base for protection but who put them there? The locals or the wee folk?
Hawthorn trees are “steeped in legend and folklore” thanks in part to the time when their flowers bloom in the spring – which coincides with Bealtaine, a festival linked to ancient Irish tradition, and particularly fairy folklore.
It is also said that when a hawthorn grows in close proximity to both oak and ash trees, fairies are found.
The folklore surrounding Ireland’s fairy trees is taken seriously. As well as being a place where visitors impart their wishes, another function of the fairy tree is to protect and encourage the well-being of the surrounding hedgerows.
No matter the time of year, the fairy trees on the Hill of Tara will have the evidence of hundreds of prayers and wishes, tied to the tree blowing in the breeze. Each symbolising someone’s continuing faith in Celtic mythology that is thousands of years old.