Read about some of our favourite trees in pop(lar) culture, from Treebeard to the Whomping Willow.
Trees don’t always get the recognition they deserve. They tirelessly clean our air, provide habitats for wildlife and boost our mental health, but somehow don’t quite get the same attention in pop culture as, say, Beyoncé. We’re obviously not saying that Queen Bey isn’t deserving of all her good fortune, but it would be nice to see a humble tree in the spotlight now and again. While we’re waiting for that to happen, we’ve compiled a list of trees who have managed to make a name for themselves. We present: our favourite trees in pop culture!
NB: Spoilers. Proceed with caution (but if you’re not familiar with these films, have you been hiding deep under an ancient fig tree?)
1. Treebeard (The Lord of the Rings)
Treebeard, aka ‘Shepherd of the trees’, is an inspiration. When he saw the destruction being inflicted on his beloved woodlands he decided to take matters into his own hands (branches?) and marched to Isengard where he was instrumental in the good guys’ win against the evil wizard Saruman. Treebeard even shows the defeated wizard a little bit of mercy at the end of the last book. There’s really no doubt of who the real hero of The Lord of the Rings was.
for putting those branches to good use.
2. The Apple Trees (The Wizard of Oz)
Here’s one of our favourite quotes uttered by a tree ever: “Well, how would you like to have someone come along and pick something off of you?” Preach, Apple Trees, preach! Though they only make a brief appearance in the 1939 movie, they manage to teach apple-stealing Dorothy a valuable lesson (“Oh dear, I keep forgetting I’m not in Kansas!”). She had it coming.
for protecting themselves against cheeky apple-grabbing girls.
3. Ancient fig tree (Pan’s Labyrinth)
It’s not easy being the ancient fig tree in Guillermo del Toro’s epic fantasy film, Pan’s Labyrinth. A giant toad appears to be sucking the life out of you, and weird creatures seem to have moved into your roots. Quite rude! At least you get to be in all the film adverts, looking both menacing and majestic.
for showing resilience and strength in trying times.
4. Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Despite only being able to utter three words (“I am Groot.”) and, well, being a tree, Groot is an important member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Spoiler alert: you might remember that he was reduced to a sapling after sacrificing (!) himself to save his friends in the first film, and he’s toddler-sized for the sequel. Not to mention that Groot is easily one of the most adorable Vin Diesel characters.
for being a tr(u)ee friend.
5. Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas)
Grandmother Willow is an ancient and wise figure, and a sort of spirit godmother to Pocahontas. However, behind the pleasant exterior, she definitely still has “snap in her old vines” (her quote, not ours). She’s not afraid to give people advice, whether they want to hear it or not. Not too unlike human grandmothers, really.
for being our adopted leafy grandmother.
6. Whomping Willow (Harry Potter series)
Like Grandmother Willow, the Whomping Willow in JK Rowling’s world definitely got snap in its vines. In ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’, Harry and Ron were silly enough to drive a stolen car into the Whomping Willow – and boy did they get a whooping. Though the tree might seem violent and dangerous, it actually provides a safe escape for a certain man/werewolf so that he can’t hurt anyone while transforming.
for being misunderstood but actually pretty cool.
7. The Weirwood (Game of Thrones)
As with everything in HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, the Weirwood have a pretty complicated story line. Are they the old gods, as the Children of the Forest seemed to think? And can they perhaps be the key in defeating the murderous White Walkers? We can’t wait to see what the beautiful trees covered in red leaves have in store for us. Jon who?
for (potentially) saving us all