Woodlands and trees played a central role in Celtic society.
Ogham, the Celtic alphabet system, was based on trees. The letters of this alphabet were linked to the names of trees. Trees were protected under the Brehon Laws, the ancient ‘Laws of the Neighbourhood’. The Celts believed trees had different characteristics, emotions and magical or healing powers. Each tree was classified as ‘chieftain’, ‘peasant’, ‘shrub’, or ‘bramble’.
Below is a picture of the Ogham alphabet. The Irish tree names are listed on the left, then the letters associated with each tree, the tree Ogham symbols, the runic symbols, and finally the English tree names.