Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tree Tribute

Thought I'd reinstate the monthly Tree Tribute post, as I'm very excited about two wonderful tree projects I stumbled across over the weekend. The first was The Tree Year where participants are observing and blogging about a particular tree throughout the cycle of the year.. I love the idea of forming this special relationship and just taking the time to stop and notice on a regular basis. I am looking about for suitable candidates and pondering, hmmm.... Then I came across this fascinating tree wrapping project in which people are tying cloth around trees and leaving them for a few seasons then removing them dyed with the plant's secretions and weathering to make unique textiles. This strongly appeals to both the spiritual need to connect with nature and also the desire to make craft to celebrate and reflect the earth. Double hmmmm... Here is an interesting article on reviving the ancient custom of tree-wrapping found in many cultures:
By wrapping certain trees we are re-establishing a respectful partnership between people and plants. When we wrap the trunks of our beloved trees, we are subtly advocating a kind of tree awareness which in turn promotes an active stewardship of the trees in our midst.
Jan Johnsen


Cheryl said...

Beautiful Hedgewitch,

I am always hopeful that people will become more aware of trees and learn to honour and respect them.

I have two trees in my garden that are sacred to old and very beautiful apple tree......the other is an ancient medlar.
I visit them each day as I walk the garden.
My old apple tree is full of ribbons. A druid friend suggested each time I had a worry or concern I take it to the old tree, tie the ribbon on our boughs and leave my anxiety with her.

kaiteM said...

hi and thanks for promoting our wrapt, tied, marked by nature project. It finished much earlier this year and we had some interesting results but mostly they were very subtle. We had no spiritual intent here, just wanted to see what would happen, that's all.

It must be said tho that in certain circumstances wrapping the trunk of a living tree could harm it because the wrapping may encourage the growth of unwanted bugs or parasites, so it should be done carefully, not too tightly and not for too long, and definately not in a sensitive or endangered environment.

Hedgewitch said...

Hello Cheryl, I love that idea of leaving your anxieties with the tree. It reminds me of tying fabric to trees near holy wells in the Celtic parts of Britain (I must look this up) .. I suppose the same idea of asking for help with a problem. The physical act of tying the fabric makes the whole thing tangible. I remember well you posting about your beautiful old apple tree. Would love to hear about your medlar.

Hi Kaite,
How kind of you to stop by and thank you for your comments about the idea of tree wrapping. I loved the story on the Hand/Eye article about how someone discovered the technique by accident!

I would hate to think that any harm would come to the tree. I am thinking of trying with the fig in my back garden (though it is only small) and we have a little acacia. But there are a number of large well-established eucalyptus trees in the town including a couple in the churchyard on top of the hill by the sea which experience a fair bit of weather. If the back garden attempts work I would love to approach the church about doing a tiny wrap on one of these.

Cheryl said...

Hi Hedgewitch,

We had a historian visit the house to put a rough date on it. After several months of research, we found out that parts of the house date back to the medieval period.
In the copse stands a medlar.....I knew it was old, mainly due to the height. Medlars are very slow growing. I got in touch with the Woodland Trust, sent them some images and the history of the house. They came to the conclusion the tree was ancient and could possibly (only possibly) have been planted when the house was built.
I was so amazed and am humbled by its presence.