Created By: fleb on May 24, 2008
Nuked

Killer Trees

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Trope
Reminded of this by their Achilles' Heel in Kill It with Fire. Mobile, quasi-sentient-and-upward trees aren't necessarily evil, but they're often hostile, because that's scary. They tend to contribute to Gaia's Vengeance regardless. There are Ents, the Whomping Willow, Sudowoodo [technically, they're just tree mimics], the apple trees in The Wizard of Oz...

Compare Plant Aliens and Man-Eating Plant. May populate The Lost Woods.
Community Feedback Replies: 39
  • May 24, 2008
    Attilargh
    This is the third type of tree listed in Diana Wynne Jones's A Tough Guide To Fantasyland. Variations include (I quote):
    • Prehensile. These will grab you with their brances and try to eat you.
    • Mobile. These will quietly move about and get in your way. They may also try to eat you. In extreme cases they will attack buildings.
    • Poisonous. Avoid any drippings from these.
    • All these things at once. Run away.

    You also forgot Old Man Willow.
  • May 24, 2008
    {{Meta4}}
    There's also the dryads and other sentient trees from The Chronicles Of Narnia (particularly Prince Caspian, where awakening the sleeping trees is an important plot point).
  • May 24, 2008
    MrGuy
    Don't forget the incredible magic tree. Some potion or similar item can be made from their leaves or twigs. If they are also mobile, they will have either healing or automatic death spells of some sort.
  • May 24, 2008
    Micah
    The Blight in The Wheel Of Time has these.

    Durkon has obviously read too many books that contain them.
  • May 24, 2008
    EponymousKid
    Durkon (and apparently other dwarves) think every tree is dangerous. He's only sort of right... There are maneating trees in Order Of The Stick... but they're usually under druid control or something.
  • May 24, 2008
    Stinkoman87
    Sometimes related to Paranoia Fuel , as something innocuous you see it all the time should not fight.
  • May 24, 2008
    Yuri2356
    This far without mention of the Rape Trees from Evil Dead?

    For shame, tropers.
  • May 25, 2008
    Donomni
    Or those horribly stupid trees in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, in that one episode that has Shake and Carl dump a vat of fryer oil in the woods. They actually took him to Wood Court. They also used Carl's skin as paper.
  • May 25, 2008
    Fanra
    Change the title from Killer Trees to Magic Trees or, if you want to only include some of them Sentient Trees.
  • May 25, 2008
    Haven
    The Carnivorous Trees in Phantasy Star IV, which are also a Puzzle Boss.
  • May 25, 2008
    silver2195
    Parodied in Order Of The Stick. Durkon is afraid of trees, which everyone else finds amusing, but his fear is justified when he meets an evil druid with a small army of trees.
  • May 25, 2008
    Specialist290
    The Ents in the Lord Of The Rings movies (and books) might be a subversion; they aren't so much overtly hostile as simply reclusive, although they did get pretty riled up over Saruman cutting down their ancient forest to fuel his war machines. They also tend to distrust dwarves for carrying axes, which may be the soruce of the parody from Order Of The Stick (which, in case anyone has forgotten after reading it three times, specifically involves Durkon).
  • May 25, 2008
    Wulf
    The forest levels in Mortal Kombat have talking trees that you can use for a special fatality.
  • June 12, 2008
    Prfnoff
  • June 12, 2008
    Sando
    rapist trees in the evilDead films?
  • June 13, 2008
    Pika Hikari KT
    Territorial Oaks and Hostile Elder Oaks from Earth Bound.

    The Digimon Cherrymon, noted for convincing Matt to turn against Tai in Adventure.
  • June 13, 2008
    Narvi
    Heeheeheee, chlorofiend.

    "Why not just call it a plant monster?"

    "I'm a wizard. We have our dignity."
  • June 13, 2008
    Arivne
    Another Lord Of The Rings example: The Old Forest in The Fellowship of the Ring, which perfectly exemplifies this trope. Merry's description in Book 1 Chapter 6 could be considered Nightmare Fuel.

    Tabletop RPG examples in Dungeons And Dragons:
    • The adventure The Wandering Trees in Dragon magazine #57.
    • Monsters: treants, quickwoods, hangman trees, etc.
  • June 13, 2008
    Kilyle
    Lemme see... we have the living tree in The Last Unicorn, a whole living forest in Monica Hughes's Space Trap (kind of a hive mind)....

    Those trees from Earth Bound, by the by, explode when you get close to killing them. And set you on fire. At the level you first encounter them, you usually survive only if you can press buttons fast enough to exit battle before your health meter runs out.

    The game Brigandine includes a man who's been sorta absorbed into the roots of a tree.

    As far as titles, I don't think either Killer Trees or Magic Trees does this trope justice. Can't we come up with something better? Moving Trees is still too tame... Living Trees is technically correct no matter what... Animated Trees maybe? C'mon, more ideas!
  • June 13, 2008
    Shini
    Santa Claus is Coming to Town had the Winter Warlock trapped Santa and his penguin buddy using Killer Trees.
  • June 13, 2008
    Pika Hikari KT
    Kilyle: They explode when you DO kill them, not get close to death. Still, it would be wise to kill them last so you can get out of the battle screen quickly.

    And I can't believe I didn't mention this one: Whispy Woods.
  • June 13, 2008
    MrGuy
  • June 13, 2008
    Octal
  • June 13, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    The main villian of Final Fantasy V has a demonic tree as its true form.
  • June 13, 2008
    FusionDragon
    The fourth Kings Quest game had several screens worth of these trees, which would grab and kill you if you got too close to them.
  • June 13, 2008
    stm177
    Spoilers for a recent movie: Supposedly, the M Night Schlamadingdong movie The Happening involves killer trees. They are releasing a neurotoxin that makes people violently suicidal.
  • June 13, 2008
    Servbot
    Suikoden 4 had a giant killer tree for a final boss.

    La Pucelle had an overpowered demon tree for a boss. You can choose to go the easy way by going to a seperate room to weaken it, or you can take the hard way and beat it down as it is. The hard way earns you a neat equipment at the end of the chapter.

    Magic The Gathering has the Treefolk creatures.

    One of these appeared in the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and had the misfortune of facing both Nanoha and Fate at the same time. It died a quick death.

    The Redwoods from the Inhumanoids animated series. Sentient trees that give assistance to the heroes every so often.
  • June 14, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Oblivion has gnarls and (possibly) spriggans, while Age Of Mythology had a god power that animated trees well-suited to tearing buildings up.

    As Specialist says, the Lord of the Rings' Ents aren't particularly sinister so much as vengeful, but the Huorns cover the evil trees sub-trope nicely.
  • July 28, 2008
    fleb
    Coming back to this, how about When Trees Attack? It seems to cover all the variants, but it's also pretty grammatically specific, so it's not as easy to include in a sentence without potholing.
  • July 28, 2008
    foxley
    There is an evil tree demon in Chinese Ghost Story.
  • July 29, 2008
    Pika Hikari KT
    Damn, this moves fast...
  • July 30, 2008
    Medinoc
    Some trees in Nyissia in the Belgariad.
  • September 3, 2008
    Servbot
    Here's another one that's... almost ready to launch. Lacks a title that the magic number of 3 people agree on. I like When Trees Attack. Other people put a vote on a name?
  • September 3, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    I like When Trees Attack too.
  • September 3, 2008
    pawsplay
  • September 3, 2008
    Andygal
    When Trees Attack is good.

    And add the Tangle trees from Xanth as an example.
  • September 3, 2008
    Andyzero
    Those spikey branch throwing trees in the My Little Pony movie. The dang things scared me more than the main villains. (I was 10!)
  • September 3, 2008
    Known Unknown
    I was going to suggest The Treant, but When Trees Attack is pretty good.

    A running gag in Order Of The Stick is that Durkon believes that trees are conspiring to conquer the world.
  • September 4, 2008
    Arivne
    Edmund Cooper's "The Expendables" #4, The Venom of Argus. A tree on the alien planet Argus acts similar to the Xanth tangle tree. Instead of grabbing, its tentacles act more like harpoons, stabbing prey and bringing them to the tree's mouth to be swallowed and eaten.

    Seventhing When Trees Attack.

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