Top 10 Trees!
Trees! Trees by the dozen, by the hundred! You can’t see how many trees we have because there’s a forest in the way, it’s ten!
It’s ten trees, it’s a top ten of trees, and it’s alliterative. You may have already twigged there’ll be a couple more at the end in our honourable mentions, we’re not quite ready to branch from that formula yet. So let us take a leaf out of our own book and get logging our opinions, ranking our trees, being deciduous about it. I swear I had better tree puns than this around Christmas…
Oak-Kay, let’s get this kicked off.
10) The Whomping Willow – Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
The mighty warden of the passage to the Shrieking Shack and slayer of cars, the Whomping Willow is quite possibly the most bloodthirsty of all the trees that appear on this list. Usually symbols of stability and the passivity and grace of nature, this tree is out to batter any and all moving objects within reach into submission, and eventually compost. Were it not for a particular knot in a root it would be utterly impassible.
Am I alone in wondering why it never came up in Dumbledore’s commencement speech in The Philosopher’s Stone? I mean the forest filled with deadly monsters, the corridor guarded by a three-headed mastiff, sure but why not the murdertree? The Willow proves two things about Dumbledore; he has no consideration for student safety; and he will go out of his way to ensure disabled kids get even chances (the passage being mostly for Lupin’s werewolf transformations).
9) Iifa Tree – Final Fantasy IX
Integral to the story of Final Fantasy IX, the dwarves of Conde Petie travel to the tree to undertake a ceremony similar to marriage, before travelling to the tree to inscribe their names. Aww, isn’t that the loveliest? But the thing is, this tree has a lot more going for it than just these dwarves getting married. It was actually a tree planted by an antagonist of the game, Garland, over 5,000 years ago.
Terran’s tried to fuse their planet with Gaia, seriously damaging the land of Gaia. To restore the land, Garland planted the Iifa Tree which slowly but surely started to recover the ravaged lands. Defeating the monster inside of the Iifa Tree clears up the Mist, which is the reason monsters were spawning on the lands of Gaia. Trust me though, you’re nowhere near finished when the mist is cleared up. You return to this tree much later in the game.
8) Sudowoodo – Pokémon
Sudowoodo? Get out of here! This is a list for trees! You’re not a tree, you’re some kind of…
Well what is a Sudowoodo exactly? It’s a rock type with a strong aversion to water, so much so that Bonsly (who evolves into Sudowoodo) constantly leaks water from the eyes to avoid excess moisture. And yet they both disguise themselves as trees as a means of avoiding attack, a disguise that fails horribly in winter when their “foliage” remains green, and no other tree flees for shelter from the rain.
Silver and Gold were my favourite and arguably the best generation of Pokemon, but like any generation it’s got it’s odd cases. I still can’t get past the living ice-cream, but Sudowoodo the infamous fake tree is certainly way up their in the Halls of What on earth are you guys doing in there?
7) The Integral Trees – Larry Niven
An old story, which many people won’t even know about. It’s a shame, as it’s a brilliant sci-fi/fantasy novel. The story, without spoiling too much, is about a large gas torus around a neutron star. In the middle of the gas torus is the Smoke Ring, actually lacks gravity, which means all of the life within the Smoke Ring have become fragile, for they do not need to support their own weight. However, there is an exception to this rule…
The Integral Trees tell the story of a bunch of tribesmen who are sent up the tree to hunt and to carve their tribal markings into the tree. With conflict between themselves and other tribes as they ascend the tree, these trees become much more interesting than just some large trees that support their own trees. It’s a really good read, so do go and pick it up!
6) The World Tree – Warcraft
There are more than one of these monstrous trees in the Warcraft universe, but the one most people will know about is Nordrassil. The main reason to visit Mount Hyjal, if I do say so myself, is an important part of Night Elf lore. Some say that if the tree ever manages to heal itself back to its former glory, then the Night Elves will become immortal once more. With the presence of the Burning Legion however, this is looking unlikely.
You know you’re messing with the wrong tree when you realise it is guarded by dragons. These dragons look to help the world tree restore to its former self. Whilst impressive unto itself, even more impressive are the bones of Archimonde, the great demon who led an army against Azeroth, which hangs from the trees. Everyone in some way is affected by the world tree Nordrassil… But it’s not the only world tree in Warcraft lore…
5) The Hive – Riven: Myst
It’s right there on the cover. The Hive is the refuge of the Rivenese, their new home in the Age of Tay, driven there by the tyrannical Gehn. It’s little wonder that you’re hardly allowed more than a few minutes and a peak out of a locked door there, before being thrown back into Gehn’s private kingdom.
As soon as you enter Tay, the Hive dominates the world, a tree the size of a mountain, roots deeply weaving into the lake that separates you from it, it’s orb of “foliage” glittering with the lights of society. You are promptly kidnapped, taken across the lake, catching only glimpses as you are whisked into a cell. By this point you’ve wandered the isles of Riven for possibly hours depending on how you struggle with it’s puzzles and riddles, and you’ve likely forgotten all about the pretty box you bought.
4) Treasure Tree Adam – One Piece
If you were making your very own pirate ship, would you be using Balsa wood? How about Birch? No, don’t be stupid, you’d make it out of Treasure Tree Adam! This is one of the toughest woods out there – If not the toughest! Only two ships in the world of One Piece have been made out of this tough material. This might be because it’s also one of the rarest materials in the world of One Piece. They sell it for ridiculously high prices because of its amazing qualities, even going so far as to be sold for a pretty sum on the black markets.
The most interesting thing about Treasure Tree Adam are the actual real world connections. Treasure Tree Adam is connected to a tree called Sunlight Tree Eve, which is a pretty clear reference to the first humans according to the Bible, Adam and Eve. Not only do we have the Adam and Eve reference, this tree could literally be referring to a real life tree which is one of the largest in the world, called Adam.
3) The Eldergleam/Gildergleam – Skyrim
So this is rather a huge sidequest in Skyrim, one that has a notable impact on the world. The Gildergleam is a central feature of Whiterun – the first major city you enter in the game – and quite a few people remark upon how it’s lack of flowers is a great shame and somehow an ominous sign for Whiterun. Talking around will inevitably lead to a small collection of sidequests (of course it will) and amongst them is one that will lead you to the Eldergleam Sanctuary.
Skyrim is undoubtedly the most beautiful of the Elderscrolls, possibly the most beautiful game of all time (another top 10 maybe) and the Eldergleam sums up that status elegantly, a deep gorge that shelters a vast semi-sentient tree, the oldest in the world, blessed by the goddess Kyne. It is protected by spriggans that it can summon when threatened, and it is fearful of only a particularly dark weapon, the Nettlebane.
2) Tret – Golden Sun
Golden Sun is a game where the elements are all present, in the form of Djinn. With this in mind, why the heck do we have creatures such as Tret, which are not only sentient trees with faces, but also becomes a dungeon!? Crazy trees, they are crazy. Tret was probably one of the strangest parts of Golden Sun, however I always personally found a sense of dread when Tret woke up. There was something so… Scary (for lack of a better word) about it.
Whilst the fight itself really isn’t that bad, the dungeon is a pain. It’s not the hardest by any stretch of the imagination, but you fight inside the tree and even on the branches. You eventually move yourself to fight Tret himself. It’s a really cool part of the game which happens early on and it’s a bit of an oft-cited video game boss. It’s a shame too, as Golden Sun is packed with some amazing memories… And when Tret is recovered, the people who were originally turned into trees come back to normal too. Now that is some healing power!
Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are. Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him.
Well guess what Macbeth, the forest is moving! And it’s moving in force. From the powerful Ents of Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, to the soft hearted space-log Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, any tree that uproots itself and wanders around to educate, protect, smash or groot falls into this category. Ultimately, though you may quibble minutia of the differences, they are all ambulating arbours and travelling trees with faces, voices, and branches.
This list couldn’t have gone any other way. Nerdy culture is filled with examples of trees that are imparted symbolic importance and often personality, but between them they amount to nothing so memorable as those that walk the world alongside us fleshy short-lived apes.
Told you we’d be back with more! When we started digging for options we found a wealth of trees in the nerdy world that became very difficult to choose from, indeed we got into many an argument. Put simply, it’s a JUNGLE OUT THERE!!
Now that that’s out of my system, please have a gander at those things we just couldn’t let pass without comment in our honourable mention section.
Green Mana – Magic: The Gathering
It’s symbol is a tree, so it kind of counts!
The tree stands for everything green mana brings to the table, endless growth, stability, nature itself, protection and dominance through patience and size. Green mana can also spawn Saprolings by the dozen, and no other deck type is better at gathering vast amounts of land to bring to the table their greater monstrosities.
If any further evidence were needed that green mana is deserving of at least a mention on this list, then consider that you tap forests for it. Entire forests lending you their power, rising against mountains, facing down civilization, holding back the weight of the ocean, and even warding against death itself. Green mana is life itself, and it’s a tree.
It’s a tree.
Which Tree Is The Best Tree?
Timlah and Joel had a heated debate over what is the best tree ever. Timlah conceded that the absolute best tree out there is the simple Palm Tree, whereas Joel decided the best tree was the General Sherman. One tree synonymous with holidays and coconuts, as well as being the poster boy for postcards everywhere. They’re amongst the most diverse trees in the world, with many variations, some survive in rainforests, some even survive in deserts! The other is the largest living tree by volume. There have been taller, there have been thicker, there have actually been bigger by volume, however it doesn’t stop the fact this is the largest living tree by volume!
It’s now up to you, our readers, to decide which is the best tree. There’s only one way to reasonably make this decision, with all of your help. Raise your arms and lend us the power of photosynthesis, so we can unleash a spirit bomb of nature on the loser tree.
And with that we end our list. Which tree did you think rose above the others? Which would do you think stood apart? Which tree did you think was missing from our roster? Share your opinions in the comments down below, or an our Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to take part in our polls, the first, Which Tree Is The Best Tree above in the Honourable Mentions, and of course you can help choose next week’s Top 10: