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Author Topic: Sycamore Tree Folklore  (Read 11549 times)
Twilightgirl
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« on: 2008/Jul/11 @ 14:09:53 »

Anyone know any folklore on the Sycamore Tree?
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« Reply #1 on: 2008/Jul/11 @ 14:29:00 »

Very little - it isn't one of the Irish tree alphabet trees and it isn't in the Faerie Queen tee list, though the (related) Maple is, described as "inward sound" (meaning inwardly strong, not noisy!)
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« Reply #2 on: 2008/Jul/11 @ 14:33:36 »

I am not sure the sycamore is a native tree, same as the horse and sweet chestnut these were both introductions by the Romans and Normans so it may have arrived after the time that the Ogham was actually being used.

Adrian

PS Found this Link that gives a little info: http://www.tree2mydoor.com/products/treedirectory.asp?id=18
« Last Edit: 2008/Jul/11 @ 14:41:28 by Stilly » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 2008/Jul/11 @ 15:26:39 »

It is unlucky to grow a sycamore near to a building - this is not a superstition, it's  a fact,the sycamore roots can destroy building foundations.

Also, like the Birch and Service, Sycamore sap can be used to make beer or wine.

The best way to work out what the folklore around a tree might be, find out where it originated and then find out what the wood was used for in pre-industrial times. Any other obvious attributes are also likely to have found a place in folklore, such as the scent of Hawthorn, which smells very much like a woman's
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« Reply #4 on: 2008/Jul/11 @ 17:06:18 »

Sycamore is an introduced species, originally from North America/Canada.
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« Reply #5 on: 2008/Jul/11 @ 17:35:32 »

We have a sycamore tree in the garden,there is a dryad tree spirit in this one have a chat with him everyday. :thumbup:I Think the sycamore is a sacred tree somthing to do with the egyption goddess hather  :erm:There is a story thats true my hubby decided to chop some of it it was spring. Sad i told him not to do this but he went ahead,he collapsed we had the paramedics out. Never chop a tree when its coming into bud,only in autumn if you must trim it.He has learnt from this and vowed to never cut that tree again. Cheezy
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Andy Norfolk
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« Reply #6 on: 2008/Jul/11 @ 19:57:06 »

Sycamore is called called Faddy tree and May in Cornwall and whistles, feepers were made from its twigs for various Cornish celebrations such as Furry Day in Helston. It's still used extensively to decorate Padstow for May Day. Henry Lyte wrote in 1578 that "there is her and there a tree of it planted in England". John Gerard in his Herbal published in 1597 said it was "a stranger in England, only it groweth in walks and places of  pleasure of noble men". John Evelyn within 100 years said it had the wrong sort of leaves, well actually he wrote "that it had leaves "which fall early, like those of the ash, tunr to mucilage and noxious insects, and putrefy with the first moisture of the season, so as they contaminate and marr our walks". People say it's of no use ecologically but it can produce 35.8 g/m2 of aphids  compared to  11.15 g/m2 for ash.

Anyway it's a relatively recent arrival here, so any folklore would also have to be recent.
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« Reply #7 on: 2008/Jul/19 @ 15:47:58 »

There is a piece about them in Margaret Baker's The Folklore of Plants (Shire Books, ISBN 0-7478-0178-9). It seems that there are some Welsh legends connected with baking. Some individual trees also seem to have legend attached. In Scotland they may be known as "Dool" trees, used by powerful landlords to hang their enemies from. George Loveless, spokeman for the Tolpuddle Martyrs is supposed to have taken a leaf to Australia. (source as above).
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« Reply #8 on: 2008/Jul/19 @ 17:11:59 »

Quote
In Scotland they may be known as "Dool" trees, used by powerful landlords to hang their enemies

Kind of an odd tangent, but there is an American folk song called 'Tom Dooley', in which the main character is about to be hanged by the local law.  In the song it's a white oak he's to be hanged from, though, not a sycamore.

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« Reply #9 on: 2008/Jul/20 @ 19:20:00 »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sycamore

Dang, what did we do before wiki?   Apparently there are different forms of sycamore in the world.  I recalled a sycamore tree mentioned in the bible so I figured it was found outside of North America.
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« Reply #10 on: 2008/Sep/13 @ 00:27:31 »

Well as it has already been pointed out,  the sycamore isn't native to these Isles and so don't appear in such things as the Ogham. And I've never read any kind of folklore. 

But I had a quick look around and found a couple of sites that mention or talk about the Sycamore.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/woods/7708/folklore.html

http://members.lycos.co.uk/WoodyPlantEcology/sycamore/lore.htm
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« Reply #11 on: 2008/Sep/24 @ 10:45:31 »

Hi everyone,

Just taking a short break from renovation work on the house here in Devon. Had to add to this as it's a standing joke in the family, my husband cannot identify trees at all so all trees are named as sycamores by him! I hadn't thought about it before --- that sycamores are not named in Ogham and had never thought of them as foreign, but it is unlikely to have any positive folklore attached to it if it's not useful to man viz: edible parts, healing properties in leaf or bark, good burning fuel or good wood for furniture making and I've never heard of any great uses for sycamore.

love and peace

Leiane

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Andy Norfolk
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« Reply #12 on: 2008/Sep/27 @ 09:25:06 »

Actually sycamore is nice wood to carve and makes great wooden spoons.

Andy N
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« Reply #13 on: 2008/Sep/27 @ 18:47:31 »

Actually sycamore is nice wood to carve and makes great wooden spoons.

Andy N

interesting , so how come they're not selling sycamore tables and chairs to replace the elm tables and chairs they used to sell 20 years ago or so. Is it nice to carve but has too many knots in it for large pieces of furniture? It is strange that it's not used as presumably it is classed as a hardwood and alternatives to native oak are needed.

If any wood experts out there can advise?

love and peace

Leiane
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