Not too far from Vilkyškiai (Solveiga’s favorite place in the world and best cheese in the world) is Raganų Eglė or the Witches fir, basically it’s a giant Christmas tree with a crazy amount of trunks, 18 of them to be exact.
Raganų Eglė can be found in the beautiful forest of Rambynas Regional Park. The tree itself is a well visited tourist attraction in the area with many people stopping to pay a visit. The tree is hidden deep inside the forest, but there is a walking path directly to the tree which makes it easily accessible. I’ve visited many times over the years and each time I always forget to ask “what’s the story behind the tree”. Why is like this? Is there a legend?
On my last visit I got some inside information from a few locals in the area, the tree is in fact a Lithuanian natural monument and is now protected. From its trunk it has 18 stems branching off however sadly one of them snapped off in a bad snowstorm on the 11th of November 2007. The tree was supposedly named “Raganų Eglė” by Professor and fortune teller Eugenia Šimkūnaitė because of its odd shape. I was hoping it was named because witches used it or a magical spell was put on it, but one can dream right?
Now for the legend, some say that this tree has been specially formed by someone, but there is no historical facts or supporting data to back this up but legends are told that when Raganų eglė was just a small tree, its apex was cut by Napoleon who’s armies were camped nearby, and that’s the reason the tree grew so strangely. I myself prefer the legend and who knows it could be true, history suggest Napoleon and his army did pass through the area. There are other sites around Raganų eglė with links to Napoleon such as Milzinkapis (the giants grave) so who knows.
Quick Facts about Raganų Eglė:
- Estimated to be 130 – 140 years old but it could be even older.
- The tree is 5.1m wide at its trunk.
- The trunk runs for one meter before it splits in to 18 stems.
- It’s almost 32m high.
- It’s the only tree like it in the whole of Lithuania, maybe even Europe.
So there you have it, Double-trunked trees occurs quite often but for a tree to have 18 is extremely rare. Notch up another win for Lithuania, I do hope you guys get to visit one day or, If you have visited let me know in the comment section below if you enjoyed reading this post please share the love buy sharing this on your favorite social media platform. (Facebook, Twitter… ect)
Until next time much love,