Trees are distinctly mysterious and magical beings. Few people are not moved by the deep presence felt in a forest grove or by the soothing hush of wind in branches. Regardless of religion or culture, humanity has long held trees to be beloved kin. Valuable for a host of practical reasons, they also are held sacred by many ancient peoples as wise elders and homes to spirits and otherworldly beings. My first experiences of trees as spiritual, magical creatures were when I was a very small child. There was an old apple tree in my grandparents’ garden, and for the first years of my life I remember it as a dear friend: long hours spent by its side, lost in conversations without words, joy bubbling in my heart. Sometimes I would see the “Apple Man,” as I called him, sitting in the branches, his skin green and smooth, his smile broad; at other times I knew him to be the tree itself. These were my earliest days, where reality could shift and blur with ease without rationalising or analysing, just being in easy communion with nature and its spirits, as I believe we are all truly meant to be. There was also another tree of great significance whom I called the “Wise Old Oak.” The village cricket pitch was surrounded by a small woodland that opened on to a farmer’s fields. To me, those woods were full of faeries and mysterious shadowed dells. Ivy and elder clothed nooks and crannies fit to hide a child from the sunny glare of the open playing field, and they called to my soul in a way I couldn’t explain th