To tell you the truth , I have no recollection how and when we started to call the trees in the pine forest on the isle of Schiermonnikoog witches trees. We might even have heard it years ago at the island, because there is also a potter in the village who sells little ceramic witch hats she creates herself.
Last week we went again for a midweek to the island. The whole week there was a strong wind, what makes the island even more attractive or at least to me. The Northwester wind had picked up at times to a force of Beaufort 6 ( around 30 miles mph ) , perfect weather to bicycle through the forest. The trees moaned and groaned and the forest was full of spooky sounds, but no matter how good you looked around there was nothing to be seen other than just the swaying trees, but than of course it was daytime, not midnight…
However take a look at the trees , look good , tell me what do you see? Nothing you say? Just partially bald trees with branches? Really? Come on use your imagination, place yourself in the forest and listen to the sounds……Now do you see all the witch brooms parked in the trees?
Next time watch your steps when you enter the forest.. I heard them giggle.
Note: The pine forests on the island are already 100 years old. The then owner of the island, Count Von Bernstorff, had pine and some deciduous trees planted in 1912 and 1919. Reason: Preventing the drift of the dunes and possibly wood production. But due to the strong wind and the poor soil, the trees grew poorly; the maintenance and felling of conifers was discontinued around 1935.
Note information copyright and courtesy of: https://www.schierweb.nl/landschap-en-natuur/bos/