"With these she decorated her hair, and her young waist, and became a nymph-child, or an infant dryad"
Public DomainDryad - Credit: Evelyn De Morgan
A Hamadryad (1895)
Public DomainA Hamadryad (1895) - Credit: John William Waterhouse
Creative Commons AttributionStatue - Credit: Thaysa Meirelles

Dryads are wood nymphs, the beautiful female guardian-spirits of trees. According to some authorities, a dryad’s life is closely bound to the tree in which she is resident: she is born in tandem with it and dies when it dies. Others avow that dryads desert dying trees and relocate to healthy ones, allowing them to live for up to ten thousand years. Oak trees are sacred to dryads and artists often portray them crowned with the leaves of this mighty denizen of the woods.

Heligan dryad sculpture
Creative Commons AttributionHeligan dryad sculpture - Credit: Howard Chalkley