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[[quoteright:276:[[Myth/NorseMythology http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Yggdrasil_1938.jpg]]]]

A gargantuan tree fills the sky. Usually situated in [[GrimUpNorth a breezy land of ice and snow]] or [[TheLostWoods a sprawling forest]] or maybe even [[GhibliHills a green, green field]]. It can be seen from miles away...

This is a very old archetype, one that spans the ages and cultures. It has been called Yggdrasil, the Axis Mundi, and The Tree of Life among other names. Many works of fiction have embraced it quite thoroughly.

The Tree is often used to substitute for a deity as a BigGood by the virtue of being more easily acceptable; whereas gods can have various motivations the viewers may not agree with, the World Tree is more akin to an impersonal SentientCosmicForce; it preserves balance and harmony without conscious effort, and seldom can be communicated with directly, although it often shows hints of having a will of its own. The health of the World Tree is [[EmpathicEnvironment tied to that]] of the [[FisherKing world itself]]; injuring it may trigger GaiasVengeance, and cutting it down outright could spell TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Fortunately, if the World Tree is destroyed over the plot's course, often a new one will be born from a seed at the conclusion, once the threat is dealt with; representing rebirth and restoration of the natural order of things. Compare {{Ouroboros}}.

On a symbolic level, besides the obvious GreenAesop, it may represent the connection that all living things have, or a [[ThePromise promise]] given by one character to another. Sometimes, it is the representation of TheLifestream and its influence extends beyond life itself, in which case it symbolizes eternity.

Of course, anything this spiritually significant is very popular to produce [[EvilCounterpart evil versions]]. Evil World Trees often pervert the concept of "oneness" by [[DealWithTheDevil subverting promises]] and spiritual connection into either spreading TheCorruption in form of AlienKudzu, or absorbing everything [[HungryMenace into itself]].

The World Tree may exist ''between'' worlds, with its roots in one and its branches in another. It may even be a [[PortalNetwork Wood Between The Worlds]]. It's naturally a GeniusLoci. Nature's rough equivalent to the {{Starscraper}}. See also LayeredWorld and TheTower. Compare TreeVessel.



[[folder:{{Anime & Manga}}]]
* Right at the start of anime hitting the West--there is a large tree of life painted on the wall of the final showdown in ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell.''
** Which of course was lifted straight out of one of Creator/MamoruOshii's earlier films called ''Anime/AngelsEgg.''
* In ''Manga/RozenMaiden'', the Tree exists in the Dreamworld, and dreamwalkers can get to other people's hearts via it.
* In ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'', "Yggdrasil" is the name of the computer system that connects all things. It is also the name of the original World Tree of Myth/NorseMythology, which underlies much of the series. In the the ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' {{OVA}}, Belldandy and Keiichi made a promise long ago that affected Yggdrasil greatly.
** It also looks like a tree. A very odd kind of tree, with three intertwined trunks that form an endless triple helix.
** It should be noted that Yggdrasil is the name of a Linux distribution.
* In ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' when Van hovers at the edge of life and death in an AngstComa, unable to comprehend anyone, he sits at the foot of the Tree.
* In ''VisualNovel/RumblingHearts'' (The Eternity That You Wish For, Rumbling Hearts) promises made at a tree on a hill are crucial to the plot.
* In ''Anime/CastleInTheSky'', the mystic city of Laputa is built around a huge, millennial tree. At the end of the film, the city is destroyed, but the tree lives on and finds a new home in outer space.
* In ''Manga/{{Gunnm}}'', an Orbital Lift threatens to fall down due to the lost of its upper end, thus inflicting massive damage on earth. Main character Alita forms herself into a giant lotus petal which reinforces the Lift, thus preventing the apocalyptical downfall.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', it is eventually revealed that the source of all chakra was the Shinju, a massive tree that grew from the blood of the dead and was worshipped as a god. According to legend, after the mother of the Sage of Six Paths stole some of its power, [[GaiasVengeance it became the Ten Tailed beast in an effort to reclaim it]]. [[spoiler:The truth is that said mother, [[HumanoidAbomination Kaguya Otsutsuki]], didn't like the idea of her sons obtaining the power of chakra ''she'' originally possessed, and [[FusionDance merged]] with the tree to create the Ten-Tails to take that power back.]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' uses the Kaballistic Tree Of Life. The concept of breaching the barrier that people put around themselves is integral to the plot.
* Nearly every Creator/HayaoMiyazaki movie has the World Tree in it in some form.
* Mahora Academy in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' literally has the World Tree on campus. It is the setting of the last episode, where promises made in the past are remembered, and used as a battery for frequent time travel in the manga. Also in the manga it glows for one week per 22 years, makes confessions of love (or requests for 'deep' kisses) made near it magically binding, and provides enough ambient magic to power an army of robots. Also, it's one of the most powerful foci for magical energy on the entire Earth. [[spoiler:And it has an old gateport to Mundus Magicus beneath it. And in the late 200s / early 300s chapter-wise, the severing of all other gateports and the tremendous influx of chaotic energy from MM is affecting the World Tree, causing it to glow with extreme amounts of power. If/when Mundus Magicus collapses (which, in Ch. 317, [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt it starts doing]]), the backlash of energy will [[SphereOfDestruction explode outwards]] from the Tree, leveling Mahora Academy and - presumably - killing thousands]].
* Tsunami, the goddess of the Juraian empire in ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'', is a massive, intelligent tree (though we never see her tree form, which is one of ''four'' forms she has[[note]]The others being goddess, spaceship and human. All four exist simultaneously, though at some unspecified future date the human and goddess forms will merge.[[/note]]). Every Juraian ship has one of her offspring or a descendant of those offspring as its heart, often acting as a miniature world-tree for the very natural-looking landscape that makes up the ship's interior and which is [[BiggerOnTheInside much larger than the ship which contains it]].
* In ''Manga/{{X1999}}'', the promise made between rival-clan onmyouji Sakurazuka Seishirou and Sumeragi Subaru under an enormous cherry tree is the cause of later tragedy.
* Inverted in the third ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' movie: The antagonists come to Earth and plant a seed which sucks the life out of everything and becomes a giant tree that's visible from space in a matter of hours. The main characters have to destroy the tree to stop it from destroying the world, and so that it can't bear a fruit that will give whoever eats it tremendous power.
* ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCureSplashStar'' revolves around restoring the seven fountains that protect a version of the World Tree in the mythological sense. Meanwhile, in town, the Sky Tree is a World Tree more in the sense of this trope, and is the location for many key events.
* It's not overly significant, but ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'' does show a massive tree into which Kaoru and Aoi carved their names and heights as small children (around the time of their ChildhoodMarriagePromise), and again as adults.
* ''Anime/PokemonLucarioAndTheMysteryOfMew'' features a (living) rock formation resembling a tree, called the Tree of Beginning, which is linked to the Legendary Pokémon Mew.
* Yggdrasil appears in the ''{{Franchise/Digimon}}'' franchise's lore as a sentient computer responsible for maintaining the Digital World, making it a metaphorical "tree" that sustains the alternate universe. However, Yggdrasil also tends to take the form of a PhysicalGod, and oftentimes [[GodIsEvil serves as an antagonist]]. Yggdrasil factors into the plot of several of the games, the CGI movie ''Anime/DigimonXEvolution'', the manga ''Manga/DigimonNext'', and the ''Anime/DigimonSavers''; in the latter, Yggdrasil resides in a more literal example of this trope known as the Server Tree.
** Later material from Bandai revealed the existence of a second computer that oversees a second Digital World known as Iliad, and its name is Homeros. As you might expect, this one takes cues from Myth/ClassicalMythology.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', the city of Sairaag is protected by a giant tree. Well, for a while.
* ''Anime/{{Interstella5555}}'' had the band members burying their fallen comrade under the Tree, where his soul then ascends.
* One of the early episodes of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' had this as a MonsterOfTheWeek; one of the corrupt [[MineralMacGuffin Jewel Seeds]] was present during two people's love confession, and absorbed them and turned into a giant tree that started eating everything.
* The anime adaptation of ''VideoGame/MapleStory'' has a World Tree actually named like that.
* The aliens Eiru and An in the Makaiju arc of the second season of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' had the Makaiju (bastardized to "Doom Tree" in the dub), which was an evil giant tree that required the energy of humans to live. Eiru and An fed the tree by sending "cardians" (monsters brought to life from cards) to suck energy from humans. [[spoiler:Eventually we learn that the tree was originally the progenitor and life source of Eiru and An's people, but after warfare destroyed the population down to only the two survivors, the Makaiju began to die and Eiru and An had no idea of how to restore it. It got corrupted when Eiru and An misguidedly started feeding it life energy from living creatures and became twisted and malignant. The Makaiju asks Sailor Moon to purify it, and is then reborn as a little space sapling, and Eiru and An set off to find a new home somewhere for it.]]
* The Tree of Knowledge from ''Manga/OnePiece'', which was basically a massive library and [[spoiler: was Robin's favorite hangout as a child, as well as the place where her only friends worked. Too bad those World Government dudes destroyed it]]. And according to Franky, [[CoolBoat The Thousand Sunny]] was also built from a massive tree that was in the middle of a battling country. The cannonballs that would constantly hit it gradually made it stronger and stronger. That tree was called Adam.
** Fishman Island gets its sunlight from a tree called Eve, that grows on the ocean's surface and its roots go all the way down to the ocean floor where the island is.
* Yggdrasil from ''Anime/{{Mnemosyne}}''. It is the source of immortals and [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]], [[spoiler:creating them by spreading 'time spores' every now and then. Anything that touches a time spore invariably becomes either immortal or an angel. [[OneGenderRace Only females (the protagonist's pet dog is also immortal) become immortal and only males become angels.]]]] In a subversion of the World Tree's significant symbolism, Yggdrasil's motives for causing all this is to [[spoiler:[[MundaneUtility expand its knowledge and data]], and thus is nothing more than a MagicalLibrary in the form of a giant tree]].
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' has The Oak Tree. It used to be a place where [[spoiler:[[RewritingReality Story-Spinners]] gathered to train]], but was cut down long before the story begins. However, there's a rock one can still touch to connect to the roots of the tree and speak with it. [[spoiler:Fakir]] attempts this, but [[spoiler:he's sucked into the tree, which takes him on a trippy,[[OutOfClothesExperience naked]] philosophical journey while it seems to attempt to make Fakir a new World Tree himself. He almost agrees to it, saying he will "watch over everyone", and is only saved when Princess Tutu calls out to him and he recognizes Ahiru/Duck's voice.]] A lot of the imagery in the scene fits the legends well, particularly when it shows the tree in its former glory being connected to the gears of the story.
* ''Anime/WolfsRain'' features a "tree of the beginning", which the characters pass by just before the final scene.
* ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet'' turns ''Escalus'' into one of these. The tree is responsible for keeping Verona afloat. [[spoiler: Apparently it also demands sacrifices once in a while. At the end it is destroyed and Verona lands safely in an ocean, due to Juliet's efforts.]]
* ''Anime/{{Windaria}}'': The 'Tree of Life' in The Valley. Its huge, refered to as the region's 'Guardian Spirit' and is prayed to by the inhabitants for health and happiness.
* Most recently in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', Ging, Gon's father meets his son at the top of the aptly named World Tree, known to be 1784 meters from the ground. Ging reveals that this World Tree is only a young tree that refused to grow any taller. Makes you wonder how big a fully grown World Tree is in the Hunter X Hunter World...
* In ''AudioPlay/SaintBeast'', the giant tree that stands in front of the training hall is infused with memories of the angels who spent time there, allowing Kira and Maya to access them and gather courage before taking their first step toward adulthood.
* In ''Anime/SDGundamForce'', the Spirit Tree of Lacroa is so big that the royal family had its castle built around it, and the town is built on its roots. It was TakenForGranite by the Dark Axis, and the first we hear of it is when the Dark Axis is trying to revive it for some reason. [[spoiler: In the series' second half we learn that the Tree can create Spirit Eggs that give birth to sacred spirits and Knight Gundams. This power was sealed off by the royal family so the Dark Axis couldn't use it to sacrifice Knight Gundams to the General. After the Dark Axis is defeated for good and Lacroa is un-petrified, Princess Rele undoes the seal.]]
* In ''Lightnovel/SwordArtOnline'', the game Alfheim Online, based on Norse Mythology, has the Word Tree Yggdrasil at the center of the game. There, players can attempt the Grand Quest, a difficult challenge where the objective is to get past an endless army of tough boss-level monsters to get to the top. Clearing the quest allows the player who reached the top to have an audience with the fairy king Oberon and turn their race into Alfs, lifting the restrictions on their flight. In reality, [[spoiler: the Grand Quest is UnwinnableByDesign, because Oberon is actually Sugou Nobuyuki and the World Tree is where he's keeping Asuna prisoner and experimenting on the 300 other minds he captured from Sword Art Online after it was cleared.]] After the game is relaunched, the World Tree is fully accessible, all races had their flight restrictions removed, and a city was created at the top of the World Tree.
* ''Anime/YukiYunaIsAHero'' has Shinju-sama, a godly World Tree that needs to be protected by the MagicalGirl protagonists. When a virus spread throughout the world 300 years ago it created a barrier to protect Shikoku and the island has been cut off from the world since.
* In ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel'', while the Tree of Life isn't gigantic, its life force sustains the balance of nature and the world.
* In ''LightNovel/TheRisingOfTheShieldHero'' Naofumi is disgusted when he discovers the "God Tree" is in fact [[spoiler:the crepe tree he created for Kiel, having grown enormous in the centuries since]].
* In ''Ark'' Yggdrasil grows in the Underground World and acts a seal binding a powerful demon in Niflheim. Ark later learns that [[spoiler:there were originally four World Trees, three of which died during the Dark Century. Restoring them will return lost continents]].
* In ''Manga/MobPsycho100'', the Divine Tree which is actually a giant head of Broccoli fills a similar purpose, as it springs up in the middle of Seasoning City following [[spoiler: Mob's battle against the leader of the Claw organization, and causes anyone who eats of it becomes a worshipper of Mob due to it being created by Mob putting his and Touichirou's excess power in some broccoli seeds he had in his pocket]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* An issue of ''ComicBook/TheBadger'' featured an apple from "The Wotan Tree". Since Ygdrassil is supposed to be an ash tree, this is actually a reference to [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic the god Odin]] (Wotan, from whence we get Wednesday). The scene where a gigantic tree bursts out of a building in the middle of Minneapolis while two martial artists are slugging it out near the top was pretty cool.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Hellboy}}'', Rasputin's immortality is due to having [[OurSoulsAreDifferent half of his soul]] buried under Yggdrassil's roots. On one occasion, after one of his plans is completely ruined, he retreats to the base of Yggdrassil in order to rest.
* Yggdrassil itself turned up in the fantasy comic book series ''Comicbook/{{Lucifer}}''.
* Marvel's ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'', being based on Myth/NorseMythology, naturally has it.
** The film version offers a more scientific explanation: [[spoiler:it's a part of the universe that contains the "Nine Realms", nine planets[[note]]possibly in separate dimensions as well as galaxies[[/note]] including Earth / Midgard, Asgard, and Jotunheim. It's simply a collection of galaxies that happens to be tree-shaped.]]
* Alan Moore combined the World Tree concept with the Kaballistic Tree of Life as a backdrop for ''ComicBook/{{Promethea}}''. In his notes for a proposed run on Rob Liefeld's ''Glory'', he further expanded upon this concept in order to create a standardized and flexible system of magic for Liefeld's comic universe.

* ''FanFic/TheInfiniteLoops'' is based around the idea that the world tree computer Yggdrassil from Manga/AhMyGoddess suffered some form of critical damage, forcing the admins to put every world in the multiverse into a time loop while they try to repair things.
* It is mentioned in the first chapter of the ''[[Fanfic/DisneysWarACrossoverStory Disney Crossover Series]]'' that a tree with many branches is a common metaphor of the Disney Multiverse in the Disney Kingdom's old myths, though the Multiverse probably doesn't look quite like this.

* ''Film/TheFountain'' pretty much entirely revolves around this trope, particularly the Christian Tree of Life and Mayan World Tree variations. It actually ''is'' the titular FountainOfYouth, apparently, since you drink its sap. (Though eating the bark is just as effective.) It can also [[LiteralGenie grant immortality]], but probably not the way you'd expect. "[[ExactWords Together we will live forever]]," indeed.
** It apparently [[BittersweetEnding outlasts Earth]] and its health is seemingly tied to the health of the planet. It is suggested that the future version of the tree is a seedling planted over [[spoiler:Izzy's grave]] by present-Tom. Before future-Tom [[GainaxEnding put it in a spaceship]], the original Tree was planted in a pool of water on top of a pyramid and guarded by a Mayan sacrifical priest [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic with a flaming sword]].
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' (2009) features a planet whose ecology is powered by World Trees and GaiasRevenge.
* The ''Film/{{Thor}}'' movie (and, by extension, the entire Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse) has one, which binds the nine realms (Earth/Midgard, Asgard, Jotunheim, etc.) together. You can see Yggdrasil hovering as the universe itself during the end credits, as well as being formed in the lightning arcs striking the ceiling of Heimdall's observatory, whenever the Bifrost is active.
* The Tree in ''Film/EdenLog'' has definite elements of this. For all intents and purposes, the entire world shown in the film revolves around it and is tied to it, [[spoiler:and when Tolbiac poisons it at the end it brings about the end of the world.]]
* The great tree in the next world looks like it at the very end of ''{{Film/Knowing}}''.

* On the cover art to some editions of the ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series by Creator/IsaacAsimov, the Second Foundation is represented by a tree.
* In ''Literature/TheLostYearsOfMerlin,'' Merlin plants a seed in the last book which, we are told, results in a new magical realm called Avalon. The SequelSeries, ''Literature/TheGreatTreeOfAvalon,'' makes it clear that this version of Avalon is a literal tree, with each of its roots as a different region. The protagonists then gain the difficult quest of climbing the trunk to reach the branches, which reach into the stars [[spoiler:and a doorway to the SpiritWorld]].
* The plot of Terry Brooks' ''[[Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy The Elfstones of Shannara]]'' concerns the Ellcrys, the tree created by [[OurElvesAreDifferent elven]] [[FunctionalMagic magic]] that keeps the world safe(ish) from [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]].
* In the ''[[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Starlight And Shadows]]'' trilogy by Elaine Cunningham. To retain her innate [[OurElvesAreDifferent drow]] [[FunctionalMagic magic]] on surface indefinitely Liriel Baenre follows a rune quest: she must find the sacred tree ''Yggsdrasil's Child'' and scratch on its bark rune with unique ancient artifact. Partial subversion: for conventional perception it's just another ordinary tree in big forest.
* Mark Z. Danielewski's ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'' has Yggdrasil play a minor part in its [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic myriad religious references.]] The [[color:blue:house]] appears to be [[BiggerOnTheInside boundless in the amount of space it can take up]], the material that makes up the more interesting parts of the [[color:blue:house]] appears to be ash, and it resides on Ash Tree Lane. There's even an odd poem on the inside of the back cover that describes Yggdrasil.
* The Tree in the Vale of Aldur in ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' by David Eddings: it's been around since the creation of the world and will exist until the world's end, its branches spread to shade acres of land, it's the only tree of its type, and the sorcerers who live in the Vale theorize that it has a purpose different from ordinary trees.
* Figures greatly (if metaphorically) into Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AmericanGods''. Interestingly, it is implied that there are multiple "world trees" on Earth, though the reason for this is never explained (it's probably because in ''Literature/AmericanGods'' AllMythsAreTrue, and as mentioned below there are plenty of variations on the World Tree.)
* In Elizabeth Haydon's ''Literature/SymphonyOfAges'' trilogy, the protagonists travel along the root of one of the FIVE world trees, through the center of the planet, to an identical tree on the other end.
* In the ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' books by Robert Jordan, there is a Tree of Life in the forbidden city of Rhuidean. In a reference to the Norse {{god}} Odin, Mat is hanged from this tree as a price for knowledge. The tree, Avendesora, is the last of a human-engineered species of tree called Chora, which were once commonplace, cultivated in groves purely for the calming aura that they produce. A cutting of the Tree was once made, named Avendoraldera, and gifted to another nation by the keepers of Avendesora, where it grew until a very greedy king cut it down to make his throne, an act that sparked the bloodiest war in centuries.
* Paul in Creator/GuyGavrielKay's ''Literature/TheFionavarTapestry'' volunteers to be sacrificed on the Summer Tree.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series, the eponymous tower is representative of the World Tree, [[spoiler: in that it holds all the worlds in the {{multiverse}} together]].
** Given that TheTower appears in some form in every universe, but only as a tower in the "keystone" world, and that at least one of these forms is a plant (a rose), it's entirely possible that somewhere it is a literal World Tree.
** Moreover, at one point it's suggested the [[NeglectfulPrecursors Great Old Ones]] ''cut down'' their version of the World Tree and replaced it with the Tower, to make travel between dimensions possible through {{Magitek}}. This of course had [[TheMagicGoesAway unforeseen consequences]].
* In Sharon Lee's and Steve Miller's Literature/LiadenUniverse, Jelaza Kazone, the gigantic tree that literally lies at the foundation of clan Korval's family tree, and which in modern times is about a quarter of a mile high. The name - Jela's Fulfillment - is a remembrance of the promise that Jela's partner made to him that she would protect the tree - a promise that is considered (according to Val Con, the current head of the family) to have led directly to the colonization of the planet, since she needed a safe place for the Tree. It is an intelligent being (although most outsiders don't seem to be aware of this), and is considered a member of the family.
* A world tree is mentioned very occasionally and always in passing in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' by Creator/CSLewis, too, alluding specifically to Yggdrasil.
** ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'' features a Tree of Life. The White Witch Jadis eats an apple to gain immortality without permission, and the title nephew (Digory Kirke) brings back an apple to protect Narnia from her, and then receives an apple from Aslan himself that cures his sick mother in the real world.
** The second apple drops a seed in the Real World which grows up to be another tree. When said tree cut down many years later, it is [[spoiler:made into a wardrobe for Digory, which sets out the connection between Narnia and the world]]. Meanwhile, the lantern-crossbar thrown by Jadis grows into an eternally-burning gaslamp in the heart of Narnia.
** ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'' also features the Wood Between the Worlds, which connects all worlds together in a [[Franchise/TheDarkTower Dark Tower]]-like fashion. It can only be accessed by wearing some special rings that either take you there or take you back home. [[spoiler: The rings are sealed and buried by Polly and Digory so they won't be used by others, are dug out by Edmund and Peter decades later, and are presumably lost when almost everyone from London dies in the train incident and are brought to Narnia forever.]]
* Creator/LarryNiven's ''RainbowMars'' had a tree that [[SpaceElevator stuck up into space]] and [[PlanetLooters drained entire planets of their water]]. It is explicitly compared to Yggdrasil.
* Literature/{{Discworld}}, much like [[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia Narnia]], occasionally mentions Yggdrasil (a world with a World Tree is briefly seen in ''Discworld/EqualRites'', along with one surrounded by the Midgard Serpent). More recently in ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' the Cabinet of Curiosity, an endless magical cabinet where drawers extend from the sides of other drawers, opens out into an enormous fractal tree-shape.
* Used metaphorically in the TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture SciFi novel ''{{Gradisil}}'' by Adam Roberts to refer to the shape of the Earth's magnetic field at the poles, which are used by the characters to propel electromagnetic flight. The title character's name is a misspelling/mispronunciation of Yggdrasil.
* In Dan Simmons' ''Literature/HyperionCantos'' there is a world called Gods' Grove which consisted of forests of Mammoth-trees and a large world tree. It is burned due to an attack of aggressive aliens; its burned stump is some kilometers high. Later events consist of a Dyson sphere made out of a tree--which is also burnt.
* Telperion and Laurelin, the massive holy Trees of Light in Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', used to alternately shine with silver and gold light from their flowers, lighting the entire Blessed realm... until [[{{Satan}} Morgoth]] and [[GiantSpider Ungoliantë]] sucked out their life and incurably poisoned them. Before they died, Telperion's last flower and Laurelin's last (and only) fruit were made into the Moon and the Sun respectively[[note]]granted that the sun, being a fruit, is much brighter than all of Laurelin's flowers put together[[/note]], lighting the whole world but with incalculably inferior light. The only pure and untainted light left of them was caught in the Silmarils, made by Fëanor before the Darkening.
** The Two Trees were sufficiently holy (and large) that not only were their (damaged) fruits sufficient to light the Moon and the Sun, but the Silmarils made from them power the whole mythos. Eventually, one is put in the sky where it becomes the Evening and Morning Star (a.k.a. Venus), [[spoiler:one is thrown in the ocean, and one falls into a fiery pit with its owner where it burns at the heart of the earth]]. The light of Eärendil's star is captured in the Phial of Galadriel, making that the reflected light of the Trees two times over. After [[{{Gotterdammerung}} Dagor Dagorath]] it is said the Silmarils will be recovered and renunited, and [[NatureSpirit Yavanna]] will use them to bring the Two Trees back to life.
** The various White Trees were either made in the image of Telperion, or descended from its seedlings/cuttings (depending on which version of the mythopoeia you read). The [[FisherKing withered tree]] of Gondor in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is the "daughter" of the White Tree of Númenor, which is the "daughter" of the one from Tol Eressëa, which is the "daughter" of the one from Tirion, etc.
* The eponymous tree in Robert F. Young's ''The Last Yggdrasil'' is the last survivor of a species that looks like ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, in the middle of what is otherwise apparently near-perfect wheat-growing country. Humans, having settled on the planet, have logged out the rest of the species and are in the process of cutting down the eponymous tree, which used to be significant to the now-extinct native intelligent species' religion. [[spoiler:Far too late to keep the tree from dying of the damage it has sustained, the humans deduce that the tree's species was a vital link in the ecosystem, and without it, they will probably lose most of their crops as related species - such as those that keep crop-eating insects in check - in their turn become extinct.]]
* In ''The Defeat of Gilgames'', a science fiction novel based on a short story, features a planet that has its entire ecosystem controlled by an enormous sentient tree.
* Before ''[=Episode III=]'', the ExpandedUniverse of ''Franchise/{{Star Wars|Expanded Universe}}'' had long described the Wookiees' homeworld of Kashyyyk as having an ecology that was like a layered deathtrap. The core was the ''wroshyr'' trees, kilometers tall and so massive the entirety of the Wookiees' civilization--every city and town--is built atop just the highest layer of them. Further, they're so big that the further down you go, the ecology notably shifts, becoming harsher (and thus requiring more deadly animals and secondary plants to survive in it). There are several layers, and going down at least two or three for a hunt is a rite of passage for young Wookiees--and only in stories has anyone made it to the bottom layer and come out alive. On top of this, when she visits Leia notices that the branches seem to have grown together, and realizes that all the trees in a cluster, if not in the entire planet, must be one giant organism.
* In the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Sky Pirates!'' one of the planetoids visited ''is'' a giant tree. [[CrackFic Growing in space]]. When companion Benny sees its she comments that it is a change from the "same old [[DoubleEntendre balls]]".
* In Garth Nix's ''Literature/TheKeysToTheKingdom'' series, book 6 "Superior Saturday" features the four Drasil trees, which hold up (and continues raising up) the ceiling of the Upper House/Floor of the Incomparable Gardens.
** The House itself serves this purpose, as it is a vast realm existing outside of reality in the "epicenter of the universe".
*** Apparently, Leaf's family believes in the existence of a World Tree.
* Creator/MichaelChabon's ''Literature/{{Summerland}}'' is about trying to fix this tree. By playing ''baseball'', no less.
* Nancy Farmer's ''Literature/TheSeaOfTrolls'', being centered around Norse mythology, features Yggdrassil, but goes beyond the norm by stating that [[CrossoverCosmology all religions are right]] and each world is just another branch on the great tree.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles,'' the Monoc Securities corporation run by Donar Vadderung [[spoiler: actually the Norse god Odin himself]] is housed in [[PostModernMagik a high-rise office building.]] But its reflection in the Nevernever is [[Myth/NorseMythology the base of an enormous ash tree]]...
* Hecate's shadow realm in ''Literature/TheSecretsOfTheImmortalNicholasFlamel'' is the home of the World Tree, and Hecate lives in it. It's later revealed that it's grown from one of the seeds of the original World Tree, which grew in Danu Talis and was destroyed during the fall.
* The One Tree, in the book of the same name, in Stephen Donaldson's Second ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' series.
* In the third book of the ''Literature/IronDruidChronicles'', the fact that the protagonist is the last of the ancient druids is the reason why the vampire Leif wants to recruit him for his mission to kill Thor. An earth druid who passed all the tests and rituals has a direct link to all nature and can use this to climb the world tree Yggdrasil. This essentially gives him a back door to the realm of the Norse gods.
* The Soultrees in ''Spellfall''. They are huge (so huge that walkingfrom one end to another may take ''days''), they have magical powers (including providing food and shelter for mages), [[spoiler:souls of dead mages house in the tree so their relatives can speak to them]], and they have other magical properties...
* Subverted / twisted in ''Literature/TheLittlePrince''. The title hero explains that a regular ''baobab'', if left unchecked, may develop to this for a small planet, which is very bad, since sooner or later, its offspring will tear the planet apart.
* In the ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' novel ''The Cursed Land'', the miniature plane Cridhe has a World Tree/Tree of Life at its center. When this is damaged, Bad Things happen.
* Creator/RogerZelazny's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' contains Ygg, an obvious reference to Yggdrasil. Ygg is a sentient tree that marks the boundary between shadows of Order and Chaos.
* In an interesting variation, in ''Literature/TheKalevala'' there is a giant world tree, but it is an evil thing that prevents light from reaching the earth and suffocates all other living things. A hero from the sea has to be summoned to cut it down, and its branches become a source of various spells and enchantments.
* In Susan Cooper's ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' series, the last confrontation with the forces of the Dark in ''Literature/SilverOnTheTree'' takes place beneath the boughs of "the midsummer tree, in the Chiltern Hills of England. The tree of life, the pillar of the world... Once every seven hundred years it may be seen in this land, and on it the mistletoe that will bear its silver blossom on that one day. And whoever shall cut the blossom, at the moment when it opens fully from the bud, shall turn events and have the right to command the Old Magic and the Wild Magic, to drive all rival powers out of the world and out of Time."
* In ''Literature/ChroniclesOfAncientDarkness'', the Clans interpret the Northern Lights as the First Tree. However, this is not a universal interpretation: in the fifth book, Fin Kedinn mentions that when he was in the Far North he was laughed at for calling it a tree, because the Ice Clans believe the lights are fires lit by their ancestors to keep warm. He also mentions that the Otter Clan sees the lights as more like a World Reedbed than a World Tree.
* In ''Literature/{{Everworld}},'' Yggdrasil is name-dropped once or twice by Norse characters, but the main example is a magic tree that connects the mortal world and Underworld of the African FantasyCounterpartCulture. [[spoiler:Since the African gods are threatening the heroes, they're willing to use [[TokenEvilTeammate Senna]]'s [[PoisonousPerson poisonous blood]] to threaten it]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', the Talaxian afterlife is said to be a giant forest, in which the largest tree is the "Guiding Tree", at which the dead reunite with loved ones.
* In ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'', The World Tree is, interestingly enough, connected to the Tattooed Man - [[spoiler: the evil, AntiChrist-like being also called "the Usher" that Justin Crowe is transforming into]] - and features greatly in Justin's prophetic dreams of his coming battle with Ben. Justin and Iris make a subversion of the ChildhoodMarriagePromise under its branches when Justin vows to build his "kingdom" in the valley below, and Iris answers "we'll build it together".

* ''Music/QueenOfTheWave'' by Music/PepeDeluxe. The song "Contain Thyself" speaks of "safeguard[ing] the tree / the tree of the sheltered and free". [[AllThereInTheManual The liner notes provide more information]]: it's the Tree of Knowledge from the Garden of Eden, and the entire civilization of Atlantis is based on the wisdom gained when mankind ate of its fruit.
* The god Held, of the Franchise/EvilliousChronicles franchise, resides in a gigantic millennial tree in the Millennium Tree Forest. The clearing where he grows is a sacred place of worship for members of the Held sect in the setting's religion. In addition to that, [[spoiler:when he eventually dies of old age his successor, Michaela, grows into a new Millennium Tree in his place.]]

[[folder:{{Mythology}} and {{Folklore}}]]
* The Norse Yggdrasil, along with similar Slavic and Hindi examples, seems to have a prehistoric common root with the Tree of Life described in the Bible (central tree + snake + special fruit).
* World Trees appear in Chinese and North Asian religions.
* OlderThanDirt: The oldest embodiment is the Holy Tree of Eridu in Sumeric-Babylonic cosmology.
* The Mayan World Tree is a ceiba tree (ceiba is a tropical species).
* The Buddha sat under a Bodhi tree for a number of days to gain knowledge. In fact, in Buddhist mythology, it was believed that the exact spot where the Gotama Buddha attained enlightenment was the first place in the world to exist.
* There's also the wooden pillar that Osiris was locked in (and reborn from, sort of), in Egyptian myth.
* The Torah of Judaism is often called the "Tree of Life".
** The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the cross Jesus hung from before his transformation, both in ''Literature/TheBible''. Orthodox Christian hymnography especially loves to make the comparison between both of them in the hymns on Holy Friday.
*** Though the Old Testament makes a clear distinction between the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (which gives [[CaptainObvious knowledge of Good and Evil]]) and the Tree of Life, which gives eternal life. The cross of Jesus has only been associated by the latter in the Bible; [[WordOfDante Jacobus de Voragine was the one to claim it was the other tree]].
* Almost every shamanistic religion has some sort of World Tree. See Wiki/TheOtherWiki for specific examples.
* Literature/TheBookOfMormon features the first protagonist/narrator Nephi experiencing a vision in a dream, where the point of the vision was to use an iron rod as a guide to the Tree of Life, while ignoring a big building full of wicked people who tried to lead the righteous away from the tree.
* "When [[{{Myth/Merlin}} Myrddin's]] Tree shall tumble down, then shall fall Carmarthen town." An ancient [[Myth/KingArthur Arthurian legend]], and possibly {{Defictionalization}}. The tree, which sits in the middle of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrddin_Wyllt historical Merlin's]] hometown, is said to be ancient. The people of Carmarthen (aka [[UsefulNotes/{{Wales}} the Welsh]], who are descended from the Britons) have naturally encased the stump of the old tree [[ExactWords in concrete]].
* Ancient Hungarian mythology includes the ''Világfa'' - literally 'World Tree'.
* Ancient Finnish mythology has stories of a huge tree that probably qualifies. See ''Literature/TheKalevala''.

* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'': In the lore, every Minecraft world has one of these at the origin, called Yggdrasil. This contains the First Block, a very powerful artifact, and needless to say a very large and plot-significant fight breaks out at the tree.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'', the spirit world is described as a huge tree, with its roots in the eponymous, hellish Deadlands and its top leafy branches implied to reach a vaguely Judeo-Christian heaven. Subverted in that Christian characters are likely to see Mt. Zion instead of a tree.
* Unsurprisingly, the ''TabletopGame/WorldTreeRPG'' takes place on one of these, and takes it to its' logical extents. Metal is rare, most things are made from wood, civilization resides in fortified enclaves on the upper sides of branches while monsters scale the sides...
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'' mythology is cored on a vast world tree. The Earth hangs from one of its branches.
* Certain editions of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', most prominently 2nd edition's ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' setting, featured the 'world ash' Yggdrasil, a huge tree growing in-between the planes. Its branches ended in portals to other planes, making it one of the major nexus points for travelers of the multiverse (Sigil, the main setting for Planescape, being another such nexus).\\
4th edition has the World Tree as one of the biggest and most important Primal Spirits; it's the embodiment of the lifeforce of TheMultiverse. Not surprisingly, there's an Epic Destiny that revolves around a Primal character ascending to become a guardian of the World Tree.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', the [[OurTitansAreDifferent Primordial]] Szoreny once took the form of the World Tree, first at the center of Zen-Mu (where his roots created the first solid "land") and then for Creation itself. His bark is a mirrored silver surface, like metal. However, in the Primordial War he was uprooted and imprisoned in the Demon Realm upside down with only his roots showing -- now he is (or rather, his roots are) the Silver Forest.
* In the ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh TCG'' [[Metaplot/YuGiOhHiddenArsenal Hidden Arsenal storyline]], the Naturia Sacred Tree is a gigantic tree that supports the Insects and Plants of the Naturia. Leoh is the guardian of the tree, but he failed when Elshadoll Midrash attacked it in an attempt at getting its power. Then it turned out the tree had a strange sephirot structure hidden beneath it, and a few [[SealedEvilInACan Sealed Evils In A Can]] to boot.
** There's also a card called "World Tree", which gains counters whenever a Plant-type monster is destroyed.
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' Bata'bik trees are gigantic structures, hundreds of metres tall and up to a kilometre wide found on Venus. These are home to an entire ecology of creatures and other organisms.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Beyblade}} Burst'' has the Yggdrasil[=/=]Yegdrion series Energy Layers.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Tree of Life, upon which Suldanessellar -- the hidden city of the [[OurElvesAreDifferent Amnian Elves]] -- is situated is [[spoiler:the penultimate location]] in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateIIShadowsOfAmn''. The massive tree is deeply connected to the elves' pantheon of the Seldarine and, in some way, their long lifespan.
* Yggdrasil is one of the gods in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII''. There are several minor Yggdrasil around the planet and a central and much larger one, actually known as the "Great Wise Tree" in the Japanese version. This one serves a vital part in the plot, works as one of the Masters that grants status upgrades and skills to the party, [[spoiler: and one of its seeds is actually a ''party member'', Peco.]]
** This actually originated in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'', where Yggdrasil (or Wise Trees) are presented as the final life stage of the Grassmen clan. Just like in its sequel, there are several minor trees around the world, and a giant one helping the party known as Gandaroof (or [[Literature/LordOfTheRings Gandalf]] in Japanese).
** Su Ryong, the Tree Dragon from ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' is a large, tree-shaped dragon and one of the ancient gods helping Ryu in his journey. His assist attack, Holy Circle, provides an absolute defense to any attack for 1 turn, [[AwesomeButImpractical though its not as good as it sound.]]
* Seen in the background of the fight against Abaddon in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow.'' Stands out because before and after, you were descending into the Abyss.
* The (apparently sentient) Lover's Tree in ''VideoGame/{{Chulip}}''.
* In the popular ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series, an "Yggdrasil Leaf" item will bring back someone from the dead.
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' has a World Tree hidden in the middle of a forest. [[GuideDangIt Locating]] and examining the correct tree nets you a Leaf.
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' has the Sacred Tree of Krage, which produces both the usual leaves and Holy Dew, which has its own amazing healing properties. Naturally, this makes it a prime target for the Demon Lord, who tries to eliminate it by brainwashing the entire nearby town into believing ''they're'' the Demon Lord...
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' has the Observatory, a floating island that houses guardian angels known as Celestrians. Their task: to nourish the World Tree Yggdrasil. Legend states that when Yggdrasil bears fruit, the Celestrians will be relieved of their duty and sent back up into heaven. [[spoiler:Later on, the tree is revealed to be the goddess Celestria, daughter of the Almighty.]]
* The World Tree is the setting for ''VideoGame/{{Faxanadu}}''. The opening scene shows the main character walking towards his old home at its roots, and he spends the rest of the game scaling it, and venturing through entire towns and castles built into its branches.
* In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyV'', The World Tree contains [[MineralMacGuffin the Crystals of the second world.]] The interior of the tree is protected by a seal that evil beings can't pass through, so naturally, [[MacGuffinDeliveryService the heroes only end up doing the]] BigBad [[NiceJobBreakingItHero a favor when they retrieve the Crystals to protect them from him.]] (The aforementioned BigBad, incidentally, is a tree himself, [[WhenTreesAttack but that's another trope entirely.]])
* ''Videogame/FinalFantasyIX'' had the Iifa Tree; grown by the BigBad specifically to siphon souls away from the planet Gaia, it also pumps a noxious gas known as the Mist across the continents its roots have infested, [[HatePlague gradually driving those who breathe it to violence and war]]. [[spoiler:It also houses the gateway to the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon on Disc 4.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'': the god of creation made a giant tree which in turn produced fruit which became the various species of the world. It only laid 107 fruit; no explanation is given for where the other billions of species came from.
** Subspecies. This is actually explained, in game, after you solve the puzzle to fight an [[BonusBoss Optional Boss]].
* Spyro spends a good bit of the beginning of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night]]'' searching for a large tree that both he and his mentor saw in a vision in an ancient (and deadly) grove.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** At the climax of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', the main character enters a giant moon only to find a giant tree on top of a hill, in the middle of a wind-swept field.
** The Great Deku Tree from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' performs a similar function.
** The imagery is shown again in the background of the ''Ocarina of Time'' Shadow Link battle.
** Both of the ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle Games]]'' featured talking trees that played pivotal roles in the plot (they provided a seed to dispel illusions created by that game's BigBad).
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'', Link grows a tree through the use of TimeTravel that has a cure-all fruit, [[spoiler: which he uses to cure the Thunder Dragon's ailment.]]
* The backstory of the ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' computer games includes the D'ni culture, who utilized the image of the Great Tree of Possibilities to symbolize the possible Ages that could be reached through their books.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Riven}}'', a vast tree used to stand on one of the islands. [[BigBad Gehn]] cut it down and hollowed out the stump to build a prison the size of an apartment. In the ''Book of Atrus'', it is still standing.
*** Tay, an Age made as a refuge for the people of Riven under Gehn's rule, primarily features a similar tree in which [[LaResistance the Moiety]] live.
** In ''VideoGame/MystIIIExile'', the Age of Edanna ''is'' a giant tree on a forsaken island, within which an entire ecosystem thrives.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Uru}}'', the Watcher's Pub (AKA the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Great Tree Pub"]]) is made from an enormous hollowed-out tree, which happens to be at least a few miles underground. It was practically a holy site in the D'ni civilization.
* In ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'', a [[BecauseDestinySaysSo prophecy]] states that the armies of the [[LethalLavaLand fire kingdom]] will invade TheLostWoods of the [[OurElvesAreDifferent elves]], and be destroyed once they reach the World Tree... Except that there is not and has never been a world tree in the world of ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''. When the prophecies begin to come true, [[spoiler:we learn that the elf queen Mercedes's true name was Yggdrasil, and that she was the World Tree that would stop them. She [[NoBodyLeftBehind dies]] defeating the king of the [[LethalLavaLand fire kingdom]], and on that spot, an actual world tree grows.]]
* There's the 'Sacred Tree of Konohana' in ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', which generally gets refered to as 'Sakuya's Tree'. It also has seedlings (known as 'Guardian Saplings') all over the land, which protect the land. Every time Amaterasu revives one, a fruit grows on Sakuya's tree, which can be cut down for a treasure of some sort.
* At the end of the best ending of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', the heroes [[spoiler:witness the purified Heart of Mankind; an Eden with ...yes, the Tree in the center]].
* ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave'' has Marona living on an island with the spirit of a very old tree allowing for the existence of Phantoms on the island itself without Marona's presence.
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIII'' features the Tree at the Heart of the World, complete with appropriate mystic connections and rejuvenation powers. It's big enough to have its own waterfalls.
* One would be remiss not to mention the Mana Tree, which the plots of the various ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' games at least partially revolve around.
** The tree is able to be cut down and otherwise destroyed, which will result in Mana [[TheMagicGoesAway seeping out of the world]], but there is a way to create a new one. [[spoiler:This requires someone to sacrifice their body so that their spirit can inhabit the new tree/become the new Goddess]]. This happens in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure''/''VideoGame/SwordOfMana'', ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'', and the backstory of ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana''.
* ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'':
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', the overarching goal of the characters is to re-create The World Tree, but the ''BigBad'' is named Yggdrasil.
** And in ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', the protagonists have to revive a dying world tree called Yggdrasil. It's the same tree, by the way.
** There's also ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', where the plot revolves heavily around the Summon Spirit of the Giant Kharlan Tree, the previous World Tree, who awakens immediately after ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Symphonia]]''. It's interesting that he's named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratatosk Ratatosk]], which connects to Norse mythology, which the game takes many ideas from.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' had the Sephiroth Trees, which [[spoiler: support the FloatingContinent]].
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheWorld'' [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover Radiant Mythology]], where the player's goal is to revive the World Tree (again).
** The ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' really likes trees - there's also the treetop village of Morle in ''Eternia'', the big tree in Halure in ''Vesperia'' and the tree that's grown over the Giant Psistone that holds Iola's soul in ''Hearts''. None of them are exactly ''World'' Trees, but they all mark major plot points in their own way.
* In the original ''VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorial'', the ultimate goal for the protagonist is to get the confession of love from his chosen young lady (and accept it) under the Legendary Tree on the school grounds on Graduation Day. This would, according to school legend, ensure them "eternal happiness" together, and is the origin of numerous similar scenes in anime and games.
** This final scene is parodied in ''VideoGame/LaMulana''. YOU LOOKED, JUNKER!
* ''VideoGame/TreasureOfTheRudra'' features a Tree of Life whose roots extend all the way into the Netherworld.
* Since it's based loosely on Myth/NorseMythology, Yggdrasil shows up as a stage in ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria''.
** In the first ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'', one recruitable character expresses an interest in Bifrost and Yggdrasil.
* There have been several of these in the VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} universe. The World Tree, Nordrassil, is badly wounded at the end of ''VideoGame/WarCraftIII'', when [[spoiler:the Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage uses its power to defeat the demon Archimonde]]. Before this, the Night Elves had a spiritual connection with it, which granted them immortality. By ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the Night Elves have tried to make a new one, Teldrassil, but it's not going very well. For one thing, it didn't bring back their lost immortality. For another, [[spoiler:it was created without nature's blessing and is slowly being consumed by corruption.]]
** Teldrassil serves as the starting area for Night Elf players, holding the Night Elves' capital city, a couple small towns, and various other areas in its branches. This makes it pretty big even by giant tree standards.
** In an ironic subversion to the World Tree's traditional message of oneness and interconnection, Teldrassil is situated on an island miles off the coast of Kalimdor, making Darnassus, the major city on it, the most remote racial capital. Furthermore, it's so isolated and irritating to travel to or from that one of the surest things a Mage can do to piss off other players off is to "accidentally" open a portal to Darnassus instead of a place people ''want'' to go.
** There's also a large tree (apparently a failed world tree) in Grizzly Hills in Wrath of the Lich King, called Vordrassil. It was destroyed by the ancient peoples who once lived there, because [[spoiler:it was corrupted by the [[EldritchAbomination Old God]] [[Creator/HPLovecraft Yog-Saron]] when [[BeneathTheEarth its roots broke through the roof of its prison]].]] The current resident tribe of Furbolgs are trying to re-grow the tree. For various reasons, this is a bad idea.
** Note that Teldrassil is probably a lot bigger than Nordrassil is inside VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft, although that might just be GameplayAndStorySegregation. It's possible to visit Nordrassil in the Caverns of Time, where it is clearly a lot smaller than Teldrassil even though it is still one of the biggest trees in the game. Likewise, it's not possible to visit Nordrassil in the regular game world (or at least, it's not intended by the developers, although some people have worked out ways to do it), but we can see on the map the zone it is within and that entire zone is about the size of Teldrassil. Teldrassil's ''base'' is the size of entire mountain ranges, which even on this PatchworkMap should be remarkable, and it's just another starting zone... TheyPlottedAPerfectlyGoodWaste.
** And come Cataclysm we learn more about both Trees: [[spoiler: the corruption of Teldrassil was due to sabotage by Staghelm, and Nordrassil has begun to regrow, and the main focus of the new Mount Hyjal zone is preventing the elemental lord of fire Ragnaros from burning the recovering tree to ash.]]
** The tree that predates Nordrassil is G'Hanir, the Mother Tree. Unlike all the others, this one was not located in the mortal realm and was run by the demigoddess Aviana. It served as the afterlife for all winged creatures (including dragons). Then Avianna was reportedly killed by the demons, and G'Hanir supposedly died. A single acorn was saved by the dragons and used to plant Nordrassil.
** ''Legion'' added Shaldrassil, the world tree in Val'sharah. As Val'sharah is the birthplace of druidism and was modeled after the Emerald Dream, it's likely the oldest world tree except for G'Hanir.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 3}}'', one of the locations is a large technology-heavy tower called Yggdrasill, which was designed [[spoiler:to rejuvenate the dying planet on which the game takes place]].
* A variant of this trope appears in ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}''; the Yggdrasil is the place where all of the main characters meet, but is a sand-cruiser (and later, every other form of vehicle) rather than a giant tree. Xenogears also has Razael's Tree, which was metaphorical. Named after Cherubim Raziel (who are ''not'' as cute as Hallmark would like you to believe,) the "Tree" was a computer database located in the wreckage of the interstellar weapon that created mankind.
* The final stage of ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 2'' is depicted as this series' Yggdrasill. Upon its roots, [[spoiler: a sleeping Original X uses his own body to seal away the Dark Elf]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Grandia}}'' (the first one) had an evil example: the final form of the BigBad Gaia is a gigantic tree-like lifeform near the [[spoiler:destroyed]] city of Zil Padon.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the Elven Alienage has a large tree called the Vhenadahl, the Tree of the People, in the center that is supposed to be a symbol of their lost homeland Arlathan (maybe). In a subversion, the codex describing the tree mentions that the city elves have forgotten why the tree is so important, and that maintaining it is just a habit now. The codex also claims that other alienages have let their trees die and be chopped up for firewood. This might explain why nobody cares if Dog [[UrineTrouble urinates]] on it to gain Mabari Dominance.
** The Vhenadahl tree in Kirkwall's Alienage seen in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' isn't treated any better. Dalish elves such as Marethari and Merrill treat it with reverence at least. Merrill is shocked that people made a Wallop Mallet -- a child's toy -- from its wood.
* The ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' series' Japanese title translates to "Labyrinth of the World Tree", and the "Yggdrasil Labyrinth" is the main setting of each game, with the tree itself being a major part of the plot. The trees' exact nature depends on the game. The trees in the original game, ''Heroes of Lagaard'', and ''Legends of the Titan'' are [[spoiler:man-made organisms created to cleanse Earth of pollution (which spectacularly backfired as the absorbed so much pollution that they mutated into {{Eldritch Abomination}}s which would eventually release the pollution into their surroundings)]], while the one in ''The Drowned City'' [[spoiler:doesn't even originate from Earth at all, and came from space to hunt down yet another EldritchAbomination, which is now sealed in between its roots]]. [[SequelHook There's at least four more of these trees around]] and they're all [[spoiler:bound to undergo the same mutation as the other ones created by the Yggdrasil project.]]
* Tall Trunk Galaxy from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2''. Also, the planets on which you fight Bugaboom and Major Burrows on in the first ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'', which both reappear in this game.
* The Great Hollow in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' a massive tree entered in the swamps of Blighttown, the journey through it is one very long descent. And as shown in the Ash Lake, there hundreds more elsewhere supporting the world(s?) above.
* In one episode of ''Heroes Chronicles'' (a spin-off campaign pack from ''[[VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic Heroes of Might and Magic III]]''), aptly titled "The World Tree", the hero Tarnum is tasked with saving the World Tree, which was the beginning point of life on the planet, but is now under attack by the undead. He spends most of the game in a series of tunnels searching for the Tree, only to find out near the end that the tunnels themselves ''are'' the roots of the Tree itself.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'', Nyarlim is a sentient tree that is one of the oldest living mortals in existence. In the "The Legend of Dead Kel" [=DLC=] [[spoiler:the "god" worshipped by the islanders, Akara, is another tree. Akara also reveals that there were once twelve such trees in the world.]]
* In the MMORPG ''VideoGame/{{Ryzom}}'', the planet on which the story takes place is ''literally'' a World Tree.
* The PlayableEpilogue in ''VideoGame/ChildOfEden'' consists of purifying the Tree of Memories, whose leaves are photographs of humanity's happiest moments, while a [[TearJerker heartfelt]] AwardBaitSong plays.
* In the lore backstory for the semi-aborted MMORPG ''Earth Eternal'', the World Tree Yggdrasil is a vast dimensional gateway linking every world in the multiverse together, similar to that in ''Planescape''. Each branch and root is/contains a world. The ancient Beast mages at one point go wandering through Yggdrasil ... and find themselves in {{Hell}}. Oops.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' has the Eldergleam: a tree considered sacred by many Nords, and from which the Gildergreen in Whiterun is descended from. It also seems to be at least semi-sapient.
* The Solar Tree in ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' has a similar function: when it's doing badly, so is the world. In the first two games, your efforts (read: how much you play the game in the sunlight) gradually restore its strength. If you put enough time into it, the tree will become a pink ''[[CherryBlossoms sakura]]'' tree in full bloom, and Lita will be so moved she'll stammer several funny [[AbortedDeclarationOfLove Aborted Declarations Of Love]].
* The sudden growth of such a tree in Dream Land is part of what kicks off the story of ''VideoGame/KirbyTripleDeluxe''.
* ''VideoGame/LaMulana 2'' seems set to at least have areas based on Norse Mythology, with the hub between them being called Yggdrasil. The initial demo level is set in its roots.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'' there is Agartha, the hollow earth. An interdimensional location with countless infinitely tall trees, the branches of which connect to various places. One can cross the world in a brisk walk by taking a shortcut through Agartha and it is also the wellspring of Anima, TheLifestream that powers magic. It is referred to as Yggdrasil at least once, implying that it is the World Tree referenced in Norse mythology.
* There's a Yggdrasil (or Yugdesiral, as its mangled in English) in ''VideoGame/{{Strider}}'' for the NES. This one, however, is a twisted, man-made mechanical MindControlDevice created by the MegaCorp and its president, Faceas Clay, as part of his plan to mind control humanity. In Clay's view, the machine will lead to mankind's rebirth, a "Golden Millenium" where wars and poverty will be erradicated under his total control.
* The Spirit Tree in ''VideoGame/OriAndTheBlindForest'' oversees the forest of Nibel. When the vengeful shadow bird Kuro steals Sein, the source of its magic, the forest withers and decays.
* The Tree of Life in ''VideoGame/PokemonSuperMysteryDungeon''. [[spoiler: It keeps the world spinning and orbiting around the sun, meaning everything will be eventually be incinerated should something happen to it. It is also the home - and perhaps the resting form - of [[OlympusMons Xerneas]].]]
* The Tree of Life and Death in VideoGame/{{Darksiders II}} which connects all the worlds in the cosmos together and allows easy travel between them.
* ''Videogame/Wizard101'' has Bartleby, referred to as the grandfather tree. He's the oldest living being in existence (he claims to be only a few seconds younger than the stars) and is the source of all magic. He sang a great song that brought the titans into existence, and now uses his roots to hold together the ShatteredWorld.
* There was the World Tree of ''VideoGames/FreeRealms'', which served as the Pixies' Royal Palace and held an important role in the in-game lore. A stylized version [[SigilSpam could be found all over the game, in-universe and out]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/AmericanoExodus'' features a world parallel to our own that is kept alive by maintaining the branches and roots of their World Tree. The young heiresses of noble households have to earn fertilizer that can keep the branches alive and their homelands habitable by stopping monsters from their world from running rampant on Earth.
* In [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/2219.html this]] strip of ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' Paris ask Quercus about their legend of the structure of the universe. Since Quercus is a sapient tree, Paris thinks it might involves the World Tree...turns out:
--> '''Quercus:''' No. It involves quantum fluctuations and vacuum energy expansion in a general relativistic framework.
* In ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'''s [[http://www.xkcd.com/521/ 2008 Christmas special]], Yggdrasil is cut down by one of the characters... and then made into a Christmas tree.
* In ''Webcomic/WintersInLavelle'' Kari and Aiden receive their [[ClingyMacGuffin Magic Amber]] from a massive Oak tree. It is later referred to as the "A Pillar of the Woods" by Rio, and hinted to be vital to the forest's survival.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* There was a JournalRoleplay called Roleplay/{{Edensphere}}, a [[OntologicalMystery spooky jamjar]] game with its two oddities being that all characters have total amnesia, and the whole thing being set in a kind of giant fishbowl with a very large tree growing up through the center.
* Yggdrasil is implied to hold significance in Blog/JustAnotherFool. It doesn't really come back up, besides possibly indicating that [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos Slender Man]] may be something [[WhenTreesAttack involved in the matter.]]
** There's a fair amount of tree symbolism in other [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos Slender Man]] material, including ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' and especially ''WebVideo/EverymanHYBRID''.
* The Shinju at the center of Unify, from ''Literature/{{Tasakeru}}''.
* In the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUNiverse'', AllMythsAreTrue. Which naturally means that the World Tree from Norse mythology actually exists.
-->'''Achilles:''' "That's ridiculous. We've sent up satellites. We've seen earth from space. Its not nestled in the branches of some giant tree.
-->'''Odin:''' "Yes, this is true. You did all that, and showed that the earth is floating free in space, driven only by the gravity of the Sun. But this... (gestures to a view of the world tree that clearly reveals Midgard... the "real world"... nestled in its branches) ...is also true."
* As of "Ayla and the Mad Scientist" in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, it looks like Team Kimba is going to have to seek out and grow ''new'' World Trees from scratch or else [[TheFairFolk Fey]] isn't going to be able to cast her high-level spells anymore.
* [[VideoGame/TheTraderOfStories The Big Old Tree that Dreams]].
* The Wiki/SCPFoundation provides an example of the corrupted world tree archetype in Yaldabaoth, the principal deity of the Sarkic cults (in this case meaning the cosmic power they exploit in a slightly more respectful manner). One part AlmightyIdiot, one part MotherOfAThousandYoung, and one part {{inverted}} PlanetaryParasite, it does for LifeEnergy what LightIsNotGood did for ThePowerOfTheSun.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Employed in "The Swamp", the fourth episode of the second season of Asian-influenced ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. The protagonists come across a vast, mysterious wetland known as "The Foggy Swamp", which is actually made of one ancient banyan-grove tree. The wetland is a [[GeniusLoci unified, living organism]]. Its tribal inhabitants base their philosophies on this phenomenon, in believing that everything in the world, living or once living, is connected (And indeed, the Gaang does see visions of people they know and will meet: Sokka sees [[FirstLove Yue]], Katara sees [[MissingMom Kya]], and Aang sees [[LittleMissBadass Toph]]), and they "all have the same roots and are all branches of the same tree."
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' Toph has moved into the area and reveals that the tree really is connected to the whole world, allowing her to keep tabs on everything despite her seclusion. She suspects it's also connected to the spirit world.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' episode "Urban Jungle" features the plant ghost Undergrowth, who spreads vines and roots throughout Amity Park, overtaking the town and culminating in a giant tree in the center of town.
* The entirety of the French CGI movie ''WesternAnimation/KaenaTheProphecy'' is set amidst the branches of a giant tree that connects two planets together.
* [[spoiler: The true form of the Pitar]] from the "Hearts and Minds" episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' [[spoiler: is a colossal tree whose power transforms the barren world of Kalanor into a lush paradise]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays'' has a colossal underground tree that is the source of all water on Earth.
* Yggdrssil, the World Tree's name in Myth/NorseMythology, appears in ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes''. It is also the source of Odin's power.
* Season 4 of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' introduces the Tree of Harmony which resides in the heart of the Everfree Forest and looks like it's made out of crystal. The Elements of Harmony were originally part of the Tree itself before Celestia and Luna took them so they could defeat Discord. The conflict in the season premiere is that the Tree is dying [[spoiler:since the parasitic vines Discord planted a thousand years ago have finally managed to wear down the Tree's magical defenses]] and the Everfree Forest is growing out of control as a result. At the end of the two-parter premiere the Mane Six [[spoiler:return the Elements to the Tree to save it. The Tree then produces a strange box with six keyholes.]] The chest grants [[NextTierPowerUp Rainbow Power]] and a castle that generates a map artifact connected to the tree and every part of Equestria that [[MagneticPlotDevice detects friendship problems anywhere and directs appropriate protagonists to it]], suggesting an abstract but omniscient intelligence.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', there is an alternate dimension in Steven's Mother's Familiar's mane that leads to an otherworldly field, with a hill with a tree in the center; with several artifacts including her sword.

* [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Walt Disney World]] in Florida has the Tree of Life, which is a giant 145 foot tall [[InNameOnly artificial tree built on the frame of an oil platform]]. There are many animal shapes carved into the bark that are easy to overlook if you don't know about them. The tree itself has a backstory where a lonely ant planted a seed that grew into a tree that countless animals would congregate. The magic of the tree eventually formed the bark into the forms of the various animal visitors over the years.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Arbol del Tule/Tule Tree in Santa Maria del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico is also called the Tree of Life because of the animal-shaped knots and such in its branches. It is also the largest tree in the world by trunk diameter (though not by height or weight).
* To impress upon his readers the majesty and age of the giant Sequoias and Redwoods, John Muir is claimed to have said, "This tree was here when Jesus walked the earth." When you're talking about a plant as tall as a hill and dozens of human lifetimes old, it's not surprising that a mythology should grow up around it. Indeed a few giant sequoias are over 3,000 years old, and the oldest still-living tree is a 4,800 year old bristlecone pine.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_(tree) Pando]] is a clonal tree colony in Utah with one root system, six thousand metric tons of mass, forty-seven thousand trunks and possibly one million years to its name. It's thought to be at ''least'' eighty thousand years old, making it older than every OlderThanDirt trope on this wiki.