Wednesday, 6 January 2016

"Old apple tree, we wassail thee"

I made two slices of white toast, soaked it in cider then poured the remainder of the cider into my oldest jug.   There was no special significance in choosing my oldest jug, I just felt drawn to use it.    We donned hats, coats and Wellington boots and made our way out to the garden.

Unfortunately we lost three apple trees to disease last year leaving us with two Bramley apple trees.   Tradition dictates that one should wassail the oldest tree   In the end we decided to wassail both of them, just to be on the safe side.

Once the slice of cider-soaked toast had been  placed in the branches, Max steadily poured the cider around the tree as we marched around it singing:

"Old apple tree, we wassail thee
And hoping thou wilt bear
For the Lord doth know where we shall be
Till apples come another year.
For to bear well, and to bear well
So merry let us be.
Let every man take off his hat
And shout to the old apple tree
Old apple tree, we wassail thee
And hoping thou wilt bear
Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls
And a little heap under the stairs
Hip! Hip! Horray!"

It was enormous fun, especially as we were joined by Merry, she thought it was a great way to delay her bath and bedtime.

Second time around we sang even more lustily.   We were really getting into our stride by then!  

It was great fun and it felt right.  

Respect for the apple tree which provides us with the fruit for so many apple pies and crumbles.


  1. What a wonderful way to salute and praise your apple trees! May they bring you apples for pies, cider, tarts and apple butter for many years to come. I hope Merry remembers this charming custom the rest of her days.

    1. Hello Ms Sparrow - Apple butter, now that is something I have never made before. I shall give it a go this year - apple tree willing! Merry will certainly have some interesting memories of her Gran and Grandpa!

  2. Love the wassailing story. May your Bramleys be laden with many apples xx

    1. Hello Molly, Thank you! The wassailing was fun, I hope the apple tree enjoyed it as much as we did! If all else fails we have a wonderful PYO apple and pear orchard just two miles along the road, they sell lots of varieties, including my favourite Egremont Russets.x


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