What is “The Bridegroom’s Oak” tree? Do you believe in fairy tales? You just might be convinced once you hear the story of a 500-year-old oak tree, also known as the Tinder Tree, that’s responsible for hundreds of love stories throughout time!
How an ordinary oak became the Bridegroom’s Oak
So, like most fairy tales start, this story also takes place a long, long time ago — in a galaxy far, far away. No not really. But it was almost 130 years ago to be exact, right here on Earth. A humble German chocolate maker named Wilhelm met a beautiful girl. She was the daughter of a forest ranger, and her name was Minna.
Minna’s father didn’t approve of the young couple’s relationship. It might be that he didn’t think a chocolate maker was good enough for his daughter, but whatever the case, he didn’t want them to be together. The two lovers were heartbroken.
They decided that they had to find a way to keep communicating with each other. They then found a lovely oak tree not far from the forest ranger’s house. This was now their secret tree, where they’d leave each other love letters in the knothole in the trunk.
They kept sending letters to each other for some time until the girl’s father found out about it. But surprisingly, instead of punishing them, he gave them permission to wed. I guess he realized that he couldn’t stand in the way of true love!
The two wasted no time, and they got married in June 1891 underneath their secret oak tree. They were married for the rest of their lives. This one little love story caused a butterfly effect that would lead to many more like it for years to come! When this story first came out, the oak tree was dubbed “Der Bräutigamseiche” which in English means “The Bridegroom’s Oak”.
Since then, many love seekers have been sending letters –to the tree– in hopes of someone finding it and responding. In 1927, the tree started receiving so much mail that it got its own address and a postal worker to deliver its mail. Karl-Heinz Martens, the postal worker who delivered to the Bridegroom’s Oak for an unbeaten 20 years, once said that the tree is a truly romantic and beautiful thing. He confessed that delivering letters to the oak was one of his favorite parts of the day.
The Oak’s postman found his love, too
But the love story that sticks out most for Martens must be that of his own! In 1989, a TV station was doing a feature on the Bridegroom’s Oak, and, of course, they had an interview with the postal worker delivering its mail. A question came up asking Martens if he ever found love with the tree’s help, and he said that he never did. Only a few days after this TV show aired, Martins spotted a handwritten note addressed to “the Oak’s postman”.
The note was from a woman named Renate who apparently wanted to meet him. And the rest, as they say, is history! The two got married, and their photo taken under the Tinder Tree made it in the newspapers. The couple even won a prize for the Wedding of the Year! The two are still happily married to this day. This would obviously be Martens’ favorite of all the stories he’s seen and heard about, but he does have many more stories to tell…
Only a name and address… But that was destiny!
In 1958, a German soldier named Peter Pump pulled a particular piece of paper out of the tree with only a name and address on it. Even though there were many other letters with much more information about the women who’d written them, he was strangely drawn to this one. So, he decided to respond to the letter. As it turns out, the “Honored Miss Marita” didn’t even write the note – it was her friends trying to help her find love!
In any case, the soldier and Miss Marita wrote each other letters for over a year before they built up enough courage to meet in person. In 1961, the two were married and remain together to this day.
Lovebirds from the split country
Another story took place in 1988. Martens delivered a letter to the oak from a 19-year-old named Claudia. In her letter, she was just looking for a pen pal, and a certain Friedrich Christiansen wrote back to her.
Unfortunately, he was from West Germany, while Claudia was from the East. So, the two couldn’t possibly meet each other at that time. They exchanged letters for two years, falling in love in the process. Finally, when the split country was reunited, the lovebirds could meet and were married shortly after in 1990.
What you should do if you wanna marry
There are so many stories like these thanks to this 500-year-old tree. It gets more than 1,000 letters a year from people all over the world who are looking for love.
I guess love is mostly in the air in the summertime since this is when the most letters are sent to the oak. There’s even a popular superstition that a lot of people believe. It goes like this: if there’s a certain someone you want to marry, you need to walk around the trunk of the tree 3 times under a full moon while having the one you love on your mind.
You need to do all this without speaking or laughing. If you manage to do it by the rules, it’s believed that you’ll be married to your sweetheart within the year. Hey, it might just be innocent fun or downright hogwash, but the fact remains that the tree is a hit and it’s already provided many people with love and marriage. So, maybe there is something to this ritual?
Btw, this oak was married to another tree
Now, it just seems so unfair that this tree does all this magical work but gets no love in return! Is it destined to live a lonely life finding love for all but none for itself? Well, not necessarily! People must’ve felt sorry for the cupid tree because the Bridegroom’s Oak was symbolically married to a 200-year-old chestnut tree near Dusseldorf!
After all, what’s a 300-year age difference between two smitten trees? He’s not robbing the arboretum, is he? Nah! Although they were over 300 miles apart, they were married for 6 years before the chestnut had to be cut down due to old age. Ah, I guess ‘tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all! Or maybe she was stumped! Or maybe it’s about time the Tinder Tree married a nice young oak a little closer to home? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! I’m sure Rooting for them!
Bridegroom’s Oak address
So, if you or someone you know is looking for love or just a nice pen pal, you can send a letter to the Bridegroom’s Oak! The address is: Bräutigamseiche, Dodauer Forst, 23701, Eutin, Germany.
And if you happen to find yourself in the area, feel free to give the tree a visit! You just take the B76 road from Eutin towards Plön, turn right at the Alex Münster Distillery, and you’ll see a wooden sign pointing towards the tree on the left. The old oak is surrounded by a cute little fence with a pathway in the middle leading to a ladder.
in the area, feel free to give the tree a visit! You just take the B76 road from Eutin towards Plön, turn right at the Alex Münster Distillery, and you’ll see a wooden sign pointing towards the tree on the left. The old oak is surrounded by a cute little fence with a pathway in the middle leading to a ladder.
You have to climb the ladder to get to the knothole where the letters are placed. If you do decide to visit the tree, remember to respect the #1 rule: you can read any and all the letters in the knothole, but you may only take one letter, the one you wish to respond to. All the other letters need to be placed back into the knothole so that someone else can find their true love too!
And even if you’re not looking for love, this is just such a picturesque and historic place to see for yourself! And if you don’t happen to like it, you can always just “Leave”. And do you think it’s possible to find love by sending a letter to a tree? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! If you learned something new today, don’t forget rate this article “What is “The Bridegroom’s Oak” tree? address and tales” and share it with a friend.
Credit: Bright Side