Ash Tree


The wonderful ash tree in past times had a reputation of being a powerful magical tree, with a direct connection to the Norse creation Myths.


Hel is Goddess of the dead in Norse legends. Hel represents the evils, fears and negative beliefs about the little known Underworld. Due to her powerful nature the Gods have exiled her to Niflheim, within the Underworld. Where is this place?  It can be accessed through the roots of the most sacred Ash in Nordic tradition `Yggdrasil´.


There are also Norse Beliefs which run parallel to the Greek Mythology in saying that humanity was made from the wood of an ash.

The Greeks held ash sacred to the Sea God Poseidon as Robert Graves writes "the ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water". On a side note, old English customs included using a carved branch of ash as protection against drowning when sailing or fishing.


Irish Folklore claims that shadows cast on fields from ash trees would damage crops and in England some still believe ash tree bark can cure warts.


It is also known from dan samples that the Celts often used ash wood for their spears which they used to defend their territory.



The ash trees usage ranges from removing spells and possibly curses to the removal of warts.


An old English custom that we dug out is quite an interesting text combining Magical healing and the ash tree:

Thomas Chillingworth, son of the owner of an adjoining farm now about thirty four, was, an infant of a yearly, passed through (an ash), now perfectly sound, which he preserves with so much care that he will not suffer a single branch to be touched, for it is believed the life of the patient depends on the life of the tree, and the moment the tree is cut down. be the patient ever so distant, the rupture returns, and a mortification ensues, and terminates in death, as was the case in a man driving a waggon on the very road in question. source:unknown


The leaf of the ash is reputed to bring a traveller safely home. The Master Book of Herbalism recommends placing a leaf some place within your car, or under the seat on the bike for protection while on the road.


Its a perfect wood for carving wands or staves, A slender branch or a sapling should be selected at the correct length, so that when the bark is peeled, none of the wood need to be removed (the branches grow very straight) other than through a gentle sanding to provide the perfect finish.

Ash Tree Fact File


  • The ash tree has grey/brown bark that is smooth to the touch in young trees. Bark becomes progressively furrowed as the tree ages, composed of diamond-like pieces in old trees.
  • Ash trees are held by a strong and wide root system. Two ash trees are best separated by at least 60 feet to ensure enough space for development of a healthy root system.
  • The seed pods are known as samara or ash keys.  Samara is one to two inches long, flat and consists of thin membrane that protects miniature seeds.
  • During the 19th century, ash trees were used in the production of carriages. They were also used in the manufacture of boats and airplanes in the past.
  • Wood of the ash tree is strong and elastic at the same time which makes it perfect for the production of baseball bats, hockey sticks, tennis rackets and canoe paddles.
  • The ash tree is also used in the production of music instruments such as guitars and drums.
  • The ash tree can live for up to 400 years.

Peter Carvello

April, 2024.