It is said that if the sun could be seen shining through the branches of an Apple tree on December 25, Christmas Day, then the owner, if a farmer, would reap a healthy crop the following summer. If the farmer wanted to ensure that this would happen he would have put a piece of toast (grilled bread) in the fork of the tree, or the largest Apple tree in the orchard. ‘Wassail Parties’ were traditionally held by men of the area where cider was made, such as Somerset, England (UK). Celebrations focused on giving thanks to the wood spirits and all spirits that safeguarded the crop, culminating in songs and verses being chanted whilst the remaining cider was thrown over the trees.
Diviners in search of water hidden underground are known to often use forked branches taken from the Apple tree traditionally called ‘Wishing Rods’ (also Beech, Hazel and Alder). (See Mystical WWW Trees & Divining Methodology).
The ‘Crab Apple’ tree was thought to indicate that there would be more births and marriages than deaths in a community if the tree grew near to, and overhung, a well whilst blossoming out of season.