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Celtic Tree Wisdom. The Alder Tree : Fearn

Birthwood : 18th March - 14th April

This is a picture of the Alder tree, native to Britain and Ireland and as you can see its near a river and this is normally where you find Alder trees, near rivers and lakes or in wet and boggy land. They thrive in wet and damp plenty in the Irish and British Isles then !!!

As far as The Celtic Tree Calendar is concerned,this is the fourth consonant in the Ogham alphabet and in old language is known as Fearn and is represented as a vertical line with three horizontal lines from it pointing to the right.

Medicine and Magic

The Alder tree has many medicinal, Spiritual, physical and mythical meanings. In ancient times Alder bark treated inflammation and rheumatism.Bags of alder leaves were heated and placed on the skin and used for skin conditions, diseases and burns. A gargle made from leaves and bark of the tree cured mouth ulcers and throat conditions such as tonsillitis. You can find out more about the medicinal properties of Alder here.


It was used for construction under water, in bridges, foundations and stilts as when this wood is immersed in water it becomes even stronger, harder and tougher. Many parts of Venice and medieval cathedrals were built using alder piling for this reason. It was also used as shields and arrows in times of ancient wars due to its strength and hardness. The sap of the tree is orange/red and the dye used for spinners and weavers. Also when Alder wood is cut it changes colour from white to orange to red. This is associated with a Celtic legend called 'The RedMan'.or Fear Dearg. According to this story they help humans lost in the Otherworld to escape back to reality. As with many trees the alder is linked with creation and in Irish legend the first man was made of Alder and the first woman was made of Rowan.

There is a strong symbolism connected to the Alder tree including strength, protection, determination and confidence. The tree is a sign of safety and protection. It is believed to have the ability to protect and hide people in times of danger. The month of the Alder is a time for making Spiritual decisions and getting in touch with your intuitive processes and abilities. It is a time to express your hopes and dreams for the coming year.


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