Top Ten Fictional Trees

Thanks to a very special friend, yesterday, I was encouraged to purchase a specific set of cards. Based on 40 very important trees from the world over, these cards can channel the energy of those plants and provide some valuable insight into life. Diving deep into this yesterday I discovered how cherished trees and their spirits have been through human history. There is energy, life, and wisdom to be granted by these plants that we have taken for granted. However, in fiction, there is still an understanding that trees are far grander than we often give them credit for. Therefore, I thought today would be a great chance to appreciate some of pop cultures best fictional trees.

10. Whispy Woods

For some unexplainable reason, the classic video game Kirby always involves a throw down with the powerful tree, Whispy Woods. The tree seemingly has no connection to Kirby’s overall mission, yet he is typically the first major villain you face. It’s as if Kirby holds a grudge against Whispy Woods and whenever he gets a chance he will go and bully this poor tree.

9. The Apple Trees

Wizard of Oz is full of some strange concepts that shook a lot of things up when it arrived on the scene. There is a scene where Dorothy and the Scarecrow come along some plentiful apple trees. Surprisingly, these trees take to some offence to having their apples eaten. They make an important point about having strangers come along and picking things off of you. There is a message here about gratitude and respecting the trees.

8. Grandmother Willow

Grandmother Willow was the wise old tree that helped Pocahontas in some difficult decisions. The ancient tree is a wonderful representation of the spirit of nature guiding Pocahontas to listen to the Earth and her path will be clear. This is truly what trees represent, as their own growth is carved based on their surroundings and should never be forced.

7. The Great Deku Tree

Making multiple appearances through many games of the Legend of Zelda series, the Great Deku Tree is the protector of the spirits of the forest. For a game that has always had a connection with the natural world, the Great Deku helps to bring Link understanding of his surroundings. Never the villain, usually Link is needed to help protect the ancient tree and is rewarded with answers needed for his quest.

6. Whomping Willow

Trees all have a unique character and this can be found in your own backyard. There are often trees that seem friendlier and therefore you will be more drawn to them than others. There are also trees that are not so welcoming and the Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter series is a great fictional example of that. This is a tree that is to be avoided because it is downright grumpy.

5. Treebeard

J.R.R. Tolkien may have paved the way for the modern characterizations of trees come to life. The Ents were an ancient species that had far outlived the trivial wars of Middle-Earth. Their only concern is to protect life and the forest in a general sense. A very honest interpretation as trees do not owe us anything, and we should be grateful for their help.

4. Kite-Eating Tree

Charlie Brown may have had a lot of bad luck, and flying kites was one of his biggest challenges. The famous Kite-Eating Tree always managed to get its branches on the child’s toy. But, the character of this tree was not malicious, but more mischievous. It enjoyed being in the park and playing tricks on the kids. What a funny little tree.

3. Cthaeh

Though I have seen Evil Dead no tree scares me more than the Cthaeh. An ancient tree from the Kingkiller Chronicles, this tree had a dark twist from the traditional. Yes, it has all the wisdom and answers that you could ever crave. Unfortunately, Cthaeh has no positive intentions and is driven by evil. It can see all possible futures and will lead you down the darkest path for no reason but to be terrible.

2. Groot

Oh Groot, the lovable, reliable, and trustworthy sentient tree of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Though he tags along with some less reputable types, Groot’s only concern is being with those he loves. A tree of few words, Groot still shares his message of love and wisdom with everyone. Plus, baby Groot is one of the cutest things ever.

1. The Giving Tree

There is no tree in fiction used as divisively as Shel Silverstein’s Giving Tree. This beautiful tree is so generous with itself to the boy that she cares about that she ends up giving everything she has. The message is not clear, was this a caring or damaging relationship? In the end, the Giving Tree is happy to have provided, even if she is just a stump to sit on now. Either way, this will always be a very important story with many layers, much like trees themselves.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Ahoy there matey. Fun post. Have to admit that for me the giving tree is an evil story. I loved it as a child and thought the tree was so loving and wonderful (it is!). But the boy is so very selfish and that is what struck me when readin’ it as a grown person. So much so that the book now irks me. Funny how tastes change.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Green Onion says:

      Thanks Captain, I agree the Giving Tree is both lovable and a cautionary tale. That kid is kind of a punk for taking everything he can from it and still having the audacity to sit on it when it was pretty much dead.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. aubreyleaman says:

    I love this post so much! Grandmother Willow and the Whomping Willow would definitely have to be on my list if I were to make one, too. This also made me think about how the willow is presented as a super friendly tree in one case and a cantankerous and violent one in the other. I have to wonder if the authors/creators picked that tree for a specific reason, and if so why they came to such different conclusions about what kind of tree it would be! In any case, this has given me a lot of interesting stuff to think about. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Green Onion says:

      It is quite interesting how the willow tree is used. I was reading that there is a long history of worshiping the willow for its ability to root quickly and being associated with the moon. It also has healing properties, being one of the essential ingredients in aspirin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. aubreyleaman says:

        That’s so neat! Makes sense for Grandmother Willow but I’m not so sure about the WHOMPING willow then haha. Super interesting.


  3. Nancy says:

    The Giving Tree is a demented book! “The Middle” (tv comedy) had an episode about the book and how parents should not become stumps by just giving and giving to an excess.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. chbrown6 says:

    Great Top ten my friend. Making Top Ten lists are my favorite thing. 🙂
    Don’t think that I would have changed altered anything on the list.


  5. Ola G says:

    Cool post! Made me think of the way Pratchett always portrayed trees as beings with such a long life span that we humans seemed to them as gnats, there one moment and gone the next. If you add to it the scientific discoveries that plants indeed may have a kind of nervous system and memory… Well, we live in interesting times 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mydangblog says:

    What a great list! I didn’t know a couple of them, but I loved seeing Groot acknowledged. You could have had a separate entry for teenaged Groot, who reminds all of us that even trees get moody when they’re going through puberty!

    Liked by 1 person

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