Sunday, May 3, 2009

Naming the Tree

Here's something maybe some of you can help me with. There is a giant old white oak tree in the backyard - it's on the corner of several property lines with myself and three neighbors, so it's really unknown who's tree it is. I've taken Franklin for walks around this giant - it's over fifty feet tall (much taller before it's top broke out).

Ravens love to nest in its branches, and I'm sure it is over 300 - maybe 350 years old. One of the neighbors said she had always liked this tree, and it had been there since she was a child. That was over fifty years ago, she said. Once it even self-combusted, and the inside ignited. The fire department came and put out the tree, but no one would allow them to cut it down. Everyone likes this old tree, and since it is so far from anyone's home, there is no danger of it falling on anything.

In the top of the tree there is a huge hole, like a single eye, and I like to think of this tree as having a real soul - a real personality. I do believe in tree and plant spirits - it's part of my culture. This tree is one of the oldest spirits I've come across - and it's hard to believe I discovered it in the midst of Morgantown.

The thing I am requesting your help with is naming this tree. I think it is a shame that the tree doesn't have a name - of course, I've thought of the usual:

"Albus, The White Oak" and "Cyclops"

But I'm hoping that one of you can help me come up with something maybe a bit more creative and original.

I guess "Ravenscroft" isn't too far off either. Any ideas?


Amy said...

I think something with "Grandfather" in the name might be appropriate. Maybe Grandfather Oakley? Or something about "watching." The Watcher Oak?

Matthew Burns said...

I have a few suggestions. The tree to me, is obviously masculine. Here's my suggestions:

Stormalong--partially because the brances of the tree look like an octopus, partially because of how many storms this tree would have borne.

Thor, Jupiter or Dagda--all names with an oak aspect associated with them.

Arddam- i especially like this one, it is the Ogham name for oak that roughly means "the most exalted of tree's"

Anglesea-good name; it refers to to location of the Holy Oak Grove of the Druids.

King Harold--probably my fav; read about the oak tree legend in regards to King Harold after the Battle of Hastings.

Faeries Lair-self explanatory.

Hope this helps. Sad that it is a forest giant without a forest, though.

It's not nearly as old at 350 yrs though, looking at it, I'd estimate no more than 150. Do an increment bore on it to know for sure, but you know me and my tree's!!!

Matthew Burns said...

Oh, and I want to add this suggestion...Odin!

Granny Sue said...

Susan in Ireland calls trees like this oogabooga trees. And one of my favorite children's books is called The Ghost-Eye Tree.

Both of those sound scary, though, and from your post I don't get a sense that this is a scary tree.


I found online that oak in Gaelic is crann-daraich. Don't ask me to pronounce it! Also that Shannon means "old one." do either of those sound good to you?

Shirley Stewart Burns, Ph.D. said...

I like Matthew's suggestion of Arddam.

Nance said...

Crag. or Craig.

MsJamie said...

What a wonderful old tree! I love trees. I wish I could hear the stories it has to tell.