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Why I don't believe old tale that the oak is tree of eternal youth

By Eddie McIlwaine

It has always been bad form to cut down a tree unless it has become a real danger. And this applies especially to the majestic Oak which in some areas of Wales is looked on as having holy connections.

You will sometimes find sprouts of Mistletoe clinging to an oak and this makes the tree doubly special around Christmas.

I learn from Christine Hole's book Superstitions of the Countryside, a copy of which I'm lucky to have received as a present, that if you wear an oak leaf in your buttonhole it will keep you safe from witchcraft. There is also an old story from Co Down that an acorn carried in the pocket as a charm will preserve youthfulness.

Have to admit though that my personal acorn hasn't done a lot for my looks.

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