The trees of unusual appearance or age, growing in the forests, parks and homesteads of Lithuania have been associated with magical powers, worshipped and treasured since the old times. In the Lithuanian mythological folklore it was said: when a cuckoo cuckoos on any of the trees, slowly walk up to the tree, while the cuckoo still cuckoos, take a leaf and some bark and you’ll hear the thoughts of another person.
People avoided cutting down the worshipped trees. In a tale it was told that once there was a large oak. It is said that whoever cuts it down will die himself. The oak itself grew old – everyone was scared of cutting it down.
The powers and benefits of each tree are different. The trees would live separately, and only once in a thousand years they meet, talk, ask around and boast of their magnificence. The elders say that it’s best to rest under a linden, to plan a military campaign – under an oak, and heal among the birches. If oaks in the homesteads were planted when a son was born, and lindens when a daughter was born, the rarer species of trees were planted in order to stand out. Buckeyes, poplars, thuja and larches were planted in the homesteads and parks of manors.
The mighty grown trees became gathering places, legends about them were created. The Lithuanian folklore story says that an elm once grew in Židonys. The Swedes would hang people from its top. When fleeing, they buried a lot of gold under the roots of the elm and cursed it. After some time the place became haunted. It is said, that when driving by at night, something hits you in the eyes with a branch.
The trees of unusual appearance, living to an age of a few hundred years are now tourist attractions. Fenced, marked with information signs attract visitors wanting to see the magnificence and feel the mightiness of trees with their own eyes.