The Hanging Tree is introduced to James Stark, Aphrodite LaFont, and Darius by Seoras MacUallis in Burned. When the trio arrive at the gate of The Isle of Skye along with a shattered Zoey Redbird, the motley crew are given access to The Isle of Skye, Queen Sgiach's island. On the walk to Sgiach's castle, Stark notices a weird tree. It looks like two trees grown into one another and there are hundreds of pieces of different fabric tied to the tree.
|“|| And in front of all of it, like a beacon drawing travelers, was what looked like two trees twisted together to form one. From the branches of the strange joining, strips of brightly colored cloth were tied to it in a strange yet complementary contrast to its ancient, gnarled limbs.|
The longer Stark stared at it, the odder it made him feel.
"I've never seen a tree like that, and why is all that cloth tied to it?" he asked.
Seoras braked, coming to a stop in the middle of the road. "'Tis a hawthorn tree and a rowan tree, grown together to make a hangin' tree."
When that's all the explanation he gave, Stark shot him a frustrated look, saying, "A hanging tree?"
"Yer education is sadly lackin', laddie. Ach, well, 'thon tree is a tree of wishes. Each knot--each strip of cloth--represents a wish. Sometimes it's parents wishin' for the well-being of a wain. Sometimes it's friends remembering those passed on to the next life. But most often it's wishes of lovers, tying their lives together and wishin' fer happiness. They're trees grown by the Good People, roots fed by passin' on their well wishes from their world tae urs."
"The good people?" Stark looked exasperated.
"The Fey--Fairies tae you. Do yie no know that's where the sayin' 'Tie the knot' comes from?"
"That's romantic," Aphrodite said, her tone--for once--totally devoid of sarcasm.
"Aye, wumman, if it's truly romantic, then it must be Scottish," said the Warrior as he put the Range Rover into gear and pulled slowly away from the wish-laden tree.
— A coversation in Burned. Pages 192-193