The Hawthorne tree, Crataegus spp., is one of the most ennobled trees in the Old Ways of Ireland and the Celtic nations and, when combined with Oak and Ash, forms the sacred tree triad. These three trees each indicate the presence of the Sidhe(Shee) or Faery race. The Hawthorne, specifically, demarcates a bridge or barrier into the faery world. It can be a bridge for those that are prepared for the journey or a barrier for those who have not yet developed the skills required for travel into other realms. It has been often warned that one should not unwittingly fall asleep beneath a Hawthorne for fear of the uninitiated crossing into the otherworld and not knowing how to get back. It is a small tree or large shrub although I've seen some enormous full tree sized Hawthornes. They seem to like to grow in groves and often there will be several in a cluster and, where I live, they shelter many white-tail deer families beneath their thorny branches.