What is the origin of the nine sacred woods?

A symbol representing the Awen from Celtic myt...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know they’re linked with Druidry and have some Wiccan connections, but what’s the origin of this idea? Is there evidence for this being a Celtic belief, or is it purely a modern invention? If it is ancient, is the number nine significant, or simply the number of sacred trees we know of? Or is the reverse true: we know the number but not the trees?

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