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

This is a very old archetype, one that spans the ages and cultures. One of the most common and recognizable iterations of the Axis Mundi. It has been called Yggdrasil 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 Big Good 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 Sentient Cosmic Force; 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 tied to that of the world itself; injuring it may trigger Gaia's Vengeance, and cutting it down outright could spell The End of the World as We Know It. 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 Green Aesop, it may represent the connection that all living things have, or a promise given by one character to another. Sometimes, it is the representation of The Lifestream and its influence extends beyond life itself, in which case it symbolizes eternity.

Of course, anything this spiritually significant is very popular to produce evil versions. Evil World Trees often pervert the concept of "oneness" by subverting promises and spiritual connection into either spreading The Corruption in form of Alien Kudzu, or absorbing everything into itself.

The World Tree may exist between worlds, with its roots in one and its branches in another. It may even be a Wood Between the Worlds. It's often a Genius Loci. In cases where a significant portion of the story takes place within the World Tree itself, it may become a Treetop World; cases of the latter set within a single tree almost always overlap. Nature's rough equivalent to the Starscraper. See also Layered World and The Tower. Compare Tree Vessel and Tower of Babel, the Biblical counterpart of it.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: "Yggdrasil" is the name of the higher-dimensional supercomputer system that connects all things. It is also the name of the original World Tree of Norse Mythology, which underlies much of the series. In the the Ah! My Goddess 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.
  • Ai Yori Aoshi: It's not overly significant, but the manga does show a massive tree into which Kaoru and Aoi carved their names and heights as small children (around the time of their Childhood Marriage Promise), and again as adults.
  • Attack on Titan reveals late in its run that Ymir Fritz came across a strange giant tree and fell in the pond surrounding it, which turned her into the first titan. The liquid in the pond would later become known as spinal fluid. Myth says that Ymir came across the origin of life, although that was all that was known of it by the present day as the part about the tree and its fluid were lost to history. Most likely referencing this, at the end of the manga, Eren himself is buried under a tree after he dies and has eradicated all titans from the world. It's the same tree he was sleeping under in chapter 1.
  • Battle Angel Alita: An Orbital Lift threatens to fall down due to the lost of its upper end, thus inflicting massive damage on earth. Alita forms herself into a giant lotus petal which reinforces the Lift, thus preventing the apocalyptic downfall.
  • Black Clover: William Vangeance has World Tree Magic based on this, forming gigantic trees that can bind enemies and absorb mana on a large scale. It's later revealed to be literal, able to form a Magic channel to the underworld if combined with Dark Magic.
  • Digimon: Yggdrasil appears in the 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 Physical God, and oftentimes serves as an antagonist. Yggdrasil factors into the plot of several of the games, the CGI movie Digimon X-Evolution, the manga Digimon Next, and the Digimon Data Squad; 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 Classical Mythology.
  • Fire Punch: Suya plans to turn Judah into one, which would grow so big that it would reach outer space and absorb nutrients from other planets. In the end, Judah willingly becomes the tree, which spreads to the solar system and beyond, lasting even after Earth is completely shattered and billions of years into the death heat of the universe.
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star 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.
  • Guardian Fairy Michel: While the Tree of Life isn't gigantic, its life force sustains the balance of nature and the world.
  • Hunter × Hunter: 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...
  • The Keeper Wants to Build a Zoo in Another World, so He Tames Monsters: The town of Gieg Nowe is built on and in a gigantic tree, with the upper classes living at the top. Later, Ikuhara houses Cerberus in a second giant tree formerly used as a prison.
  • Little Witch Academia (2017): Yggdrasil is the source of all magic; fueled by people's belief in it. It thrived in the Golden Age of Magic, but has largely disappeared in the Modern Era. In the finale, Akko and Diana using the World Reconstruction Magic to destroy the Noir Fuel Spirit Missile, combined with their inspiring people around the globe with the act, is implied to have revived it.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: One of the early episodes has this as a Monster of the Week; one of the corrupt Jewel Seeds is present during two people's love confession, and absorbs them and turns into a giant tree that starts eating everything.
  • MapleStory: The anime adaptation has a World Tree actually named like that.
  • Mnemosyne: Yggdrasil. It is the source of immortals and angels, creating them by spreading 'time spores' every now and then. Anything that touches a time spore invariably becomes either immortal or an angel. 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 expand its knowledge and data, and thus is nothing more than a Magical Library in the form of a giant tree.
  • Naruto: 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, it became the Ten-Tails in an effort to reclaim it. The truth is that said mother, Kaguya Otsutsuki, didn't like the idea of her sons obtaining the power of chakra and she originally possessed, and merged with the tree to create the Ten-Tails to take that power back.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Mahora Academy literally has the World Tree on campus. It's 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 twenty-two 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. 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, it starts doing), the backlash of energy will explode outwards from the Tree, leveling Mahora Academy and — presumably — killing thousands.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion uses the Kaballistic Tree of Life. The concept of breaching the barrier that people put around themselves is integral to the plot.
  • One Piece:
    • The Tree of Knowledge, basically a massive library that was Robin's favorite hangout as a child, as well as the place where her only friends worked, until the World Government destroyed it. According to Franky, the Thousand Sunny was also built from a massive tree called Adam that was in the middle of a battling country. The cannonballs that would constantly hit it gradually made it stronger and stronger.
    • 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.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Electric Tale of Pikachu: One story has Ash and gang stop by a town nestled under a humongous tree that is said to have a giant three-hundred-year-old Venasaur living atop its boughs. While Ash, Misty, and Brock find part-time jobs for more travelling money, Pikachu, Pidgeotto, and Bulbasaur climb the tree with a local Ivysaur to see if the legend is true.
    • Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew features a (living) rock formation resembling a tree, called the Tree of Beginning, which is linked to the Legendary Pokémon Mew.
  • Princess Tutu: The Oak Tree used to be a place where 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. Fakir attempts this, but he's sucked into the tree, which takes him on a trippy, 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.
  • Romeo × Juliet turns Escalus into one of these. The tree is responsible for keeping Verona afloat. 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.
  • In Rozen Maiden, the Tree exists in the Dreamworld, and dreamwalkers can get to other people's hearts via it.
  • Rumbling Hearts: Promises made at a tree on a hill are crucial to the plot.
  • Sailor Moon: The aliens Eiru and An in the Makaiju arc of the second season had the Makaiju ("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. 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.
  • In Saint Beast, 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 SD Gundam Force, 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 Taken for Granite by the Dark Axis, and the first we hear of it is when the Dark Axis is trying to revive it for some reason. 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.
  • Symphogear: The tree appears in the fifth and final season. It has a much more sinister meaning then most other examples. It's actually a biological computer that uses human's as a source of of its power, humans themselves being their own individual biological computers that can connect to it. Its creators, the Custodians, original used it as a terraforming device, but Shem-ha, a traitor of theirs and the Greator Scope Villain of the entire series, attempted to use it as a way to turn humanity in monsters and slaves to her will in an attempt to destroy the others. Due to not being able to utilize Humans due to the Curseof Babel, she instead uses the World Wide Web to power it instead.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Tsunami, the goddess of the Juraian empire, is a massive, intelligent tree (though we never see her tree form, which is one of four forms she hasnote ). 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 much larger than the ship which contains it.
  • Versus (2022) has one of the Natural Enemy factions, a hostile threat that humanity cannot defeat, as a giant World Tree that absorbs so much of the world’s nutrients that nothing else can grow and all the water dries up as well.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: When Van hovers at the edge of life and death in an Angst Coma, unable to comprehend anyone, he sits at the foot of the Tree.
  • Windaria: The 'Tree of Life' in The Valley. Its huge, referred to as the region's 'Guardian Spirit' and is prayed to by the inhabitants for health and happiness.
  • Wolf's Rain features a "tree of the beginning", which the characters pass by just before the final scene.
  • X/1999: The promise made between rival-clan onmyouji Sakurazuka Seishirou and Sumeragi Subaru under an enormous cherry tree is the cause of later tragedy.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero has Shinju-sama, a godly World Tree that needs to be protected by the Magical Girl protagonists. When a virus spread throughout the world 300 years ago, it created a barrier to protect Shikoku by cutting it off from the world.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In The Cursed Land, the miniature plane Cridhe has a World Tree/Tree of Life at its center. When this is damaged, bad things happen.
    • The plane of Kaldheim, based on Norse Mythology, consist of many discrete realms centered around the World Tree. This is a vast cosmic structure that formed in Kaldheim's earliest past, and which grew the Cosmos monsters and the realms from its branches like fruit. In the realms, parts of the World Tree are always visible as vast, twisted branches rising from the horizon and reaching across the sky.
    • New Phyrexia using tyrite sap from Kaldheim's World Tree cultivates a world tree of their own, Realmbreaker. This one branches into the entire Multiverse, opening paths for New Phyrexia to invade. It also has glistening oil instead of sap which it spreads to each plane it invades.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In the 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 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.

    Comic Books 
  • The Badger: One issue features an apple from "the Wotan Tree". Since Ygdrassil is supposed to be an ash tree, this is actually a reference to 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.
  • Hellboy: Rasputin's immortality is due to having 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.
  • Just Imagine... Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe: Yggdrasil is the source of Green Lantern's powers, and it's also the one who unites the other heroes to form the Justice League of America, making it somewhat of a Big Good in this universe.
  • Marvel Universe: The Mighty Thor, being based on Norse Mythology, naturally has it. The film version offers a more scientific explanation: it's a part of the universe that contains the "Nine Realms", nine planetsnote  including Earth/Midgard, Asgard, and Jotunheim. It's simply a collection of galaxies that happens to be tree-shaped.
  • Promethea: Alan Moore combined the World Tree concept with the Kaballistic Tree of Life as a backdrop for the comic. 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.

    Fan Works 
  • Disney's War — A Crossover Story: It's mentioned in the first chapter that a tree with many branches is a common metaphor for the Disney Multiverse in the Disney Kingdom's old myths, though the Multiverse probably doesn't look quite like this.
  • The Infinite Loops is based around the idea that the world tree computer Yggdrassil from Ah! My Goddess 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.
  • The Flower's Dream: A sapient flower is taught the secret of living in its own dream by an ancient tree that mastered the trick long ago. The flower, however, needs nourishment to keep itself going while it figures out how, so it sends some of the creatures it dreamed up into the tree's dream to gather pollen for it to eat. It's then revealed that the tree's dream is the world of Friendship is Magic, which the tree — the Tree of Harmony from the show — sustains and creates through its dreaming, and the flower's dream is the breezies' pocket dimension. By implication, the dreaming flower is on its way to becoming a life-sustaining world tree of its own.
  • Realms of Existence: The Realm of Life takes the form of seemingly infinite tree filling all space in the realm in an endless tangle of branches and leaves, varying in color over great distances and interspersed with air-filled volumes anywhere from a few meters to many miles across. The Tree is home to an immense variety of living creatures, with animals of every possible sort roaming its endless canopy and flying through the clearings.
  • Slice of Heaven: Nadia wonders if the huge tree in the middle of her Mundane Afterlife town is similar to Yggdrasil.

    Film — Animated 
  • Castle in the Sky: 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.
  • Doraemon:
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Winged Braves has a giant tree standing in the middle of Birdopia, where every year Birdopian residents, including the new character Gusuke, will race each other to the top to be qualified for the esteemed Birdopian Migration Troops. The race to the tree is a major set piece in the film, where Nobita, Gian and Suneo even gets to participate as guests.
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend: The core of the Green Planet is supported by one such tree, which grows from the planet's heart and turns all vegetation into sentient Plant Aliens. Unfortunately, the aliens intend to grow a second one on earth, covering the world's surface with vegetation, as retaliation on mankind's pollution and destruction of their "non-sentient earth plant brothers".
  • Inverted in Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might: 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.
  • Ghost in the Shell (1995): There is a large tree of life painted on the wall of the final showdown, which of course was lifted straight out of one of Mamoru Oshii's earlier films titled Angel's Egg.
  • Interstella 5555 had the band members burying their fallen comrade under the Tree, where his soul then ascends.
  • Kaena: The Prophecy is set amidst the branches of a giant tree that connects two planets together.
  • Son of the White Horse's World Tree exists in a spatially incomprehensible plane within the circular universe, its top reaching the heavens and its roots reching down to the Underworld, with a vaginal opening at its base. Three evil dragons and a giant snake literally turn the world upside down and take the heavenly palaces from the branches into their Underworld home. The White Mare creates another World Tree in the Upper World to take refuge in while she nurtures her son Treeshaker, who tests his strength by uprooting it. He then sets out to save the universe and turn the original World Tree right-side up.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Avatar has Hometree and the Tree of Souls. The former is home to the Omaticaya tribe of Na'vi, the latter is a spiritual center for the Na'vi, allowing them direct contact with Pandora's goddess/sentient force Eywa.
  • Eden Log: The Tree 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, and when Tolbiac poisons it at the end it brings about the end of the world.
  • The Fountain pretty much entirely revolves around this trope, particularly the Christian Tree of Life and Mayan World Tree variations. It actually is the titular Fountain of Youth, apparently, since you drink its sap. (Though eating the bark is just as effective.) It can also grant immortality, but probably not the way you'd expect. "Together we will live forever," indeed. It apparently 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 Izzy's grave by present-Tom. Before future-Tom 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 sacrificial priest with a flaming sword.
  • Knowing: The great tree in the next world looks like it at the very end.
  • Thor has one that binds the nine realms (Earth/Midgard, Asgard, Jotunheim, etc.) together. You can see Yggdrasil hovering as the universe itself during the end credits of the first Thor movie, as well as being formed in the lightning arcs striking the ceiling of Heimdall's observatory, whenever the Bifrost is active.

  • American Gods sees this figure greatly (if metaphorically). Interestingly, it's implied that there are multiple "world trees" on Earth, though the reason for this is never explained (it's probably because in American Gods All Myths Are True, and as mentioned below there are plenty of variations on the World Tree.)
  • The Belgariad: The Tree in the Vale of Aldur: 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. When Ce'Nedra (a dryad) sees it, she's absolutely awestruck, and spends most of that day climbing around its branches.
  • The Chronicles of Amber contains Ygg, an obvious reference to Yggdrasil. Ygg is a sentient tree that marks the boundary between shadows of Order and Chaos.
  • Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: 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.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: A world tree is mentioned very occasionally and always in passing, alluding specifically to Yggdrasil.
    • The Magician's Nephew 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 is cut down many years later, it is 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.
    • The Magician's Nephew also features the Wood Between the Worlds, which connects all worlds together in a Dark Tower-like fashion. It can only be accessed by wearing some special rings that either take you there or take you back home. 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.
  • In The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper, the last confrontation with the forces of the Dark in Silver on the Tree 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 The Dark Tower series, by Stephen King, the eponymous tower is representative of the World Tree, in that it holds all the worlds in The Multiverse together. Given that The Tower 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 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 unforeseen consequences.
  • 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.
  • Discworld occasionally mentions Yggdrasil (a world with a World Tree is briefly seen in Equal Rites, along with one surrounded by the Midgard Serpent). More recently in Making Money 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.
  • Doctor Who New Adventures: In Sky Pirates!, one of the planetoids visited is a giant tree. Growing in space. When companion Benny sees its she comments that it is a change from the "same old balls".
  • The Dresden Files: Monoc Securities, a paramilitary corporation run by Donar Vadderung (actually the Norse god Odin himself), is housed in a high-rise office building in Oslo, Norway. But its reflection in the Nevernever is the base of an enormous ash tree...
  • Dungeon Core Chat Room: Yggdrasil Mana Affinity allows the production of "Yggdrasil heartwood", flexible and improving mana channelling and yet much stronger than steel. Theoretically it should be possible to grow a tree from it, but between its extreme nutrient requirements, the amount of space needed, the risk of penetrating into the planetary mantle and burning it, etc, no one has succeeded before (and picking up the affinity at all is quite rare.) The closest attempt thus far used an entire dragon corpse as fertiliser, and it wasn't close to enough. Brutality Queen takes Yggdrasil mana affinity at rank 4, and with extensive collaboration and preparation, the group makes a tree that can survive, protected by the best armour they can devise, along with extensive runic magic, and fertilised with demonic void whales. It gives bonuses to all magic usage in the vicinity, as well as providing an ecologically safe way to dispose of demon remnants.
  • In 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 Fantasy Counterpart Culture. Since the African gods are threatening the heroes, they're willing to use Senna's poisonous blood to threaten it.
  • The Fionavar Tapestry: Paul volunteers to be sacrificed on the Summer Tree.
  • Forgotten Realms: In the Starlight and Shadows trilogy by Elaine Cunningham, Liriel Baenre follows a rune quest in order to to retain her innate drow magic on surface indefinitely. To do this, 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.
  • Gradisil by Adam Roberts, uses this metaphorically 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.
  • Hothouse: The great banyan that covers the dayside continent is the single largest and oldest entity alive in the world. As Earth's temperatures grew in the past and trees spread and competed more and more fiercely with one another, the banyans' tropical origins and ability to spread indefinitely horizontally allowed them to flourish and displace other plants, until they eventually fused with one another to become a single mammoth plant that dominated all forests before becoming all forests. It now forms the home and world of almost all surviving creatures, covering every part of the continent in layer upon layer of growth and stopping only at the sea and at the day/night terminator.
  • House of Leaves has Yggdrasil play a minor part in its myriad religious references. The house appears to be boundless in the amount of space it can take up, the material that makes up the more interesting parts of the 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.
  • Hyperion Cantos: There's a world called Gods' Grove which consisted of forests of Mammoth-trees and a large world tree. It's 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.
  • Impossible Creatures (2023): The Glimourie Tree was the first tree in the world and is the source of all magic. It's responsible for keeping magical creatures alive.
  • Inheritance Trilogy, by N. K. Jemisin: After The Old God Enefa's power is transferred to Yeine, the goddess raises a colossal, magically infused tree that shades the entire city of Sky in its roots and stretches up beyond the planet's atmosphere. Given the city's utilitarian attitude to divinity, people start building mansions into the trunk.
  • Iron Druid Chronicles: In the third book, 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 Kalevala: In an interesting variation, there's 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 The Keys to the Kingdom, by Garth Nix, 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.
  • The Last Yggdrasil: The eponymous tree is the last survivor of a species that looks like Exactly What It Says on the Tin, 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. 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.
  • Liaden Universe: 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.
  • The Little Prince plays this rather darkly. 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 roots will tear the planet apart.
  • The Lost Years of Merlin: Merlin plants a seed in the last book which, we are told, results in a new magical realm called Avalon. The Sequel Series, The Great Tree Of Avalon, 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 and a doorway to the Spirit World.
  • Rainbow Mars, by Larry Niven, has a tree that sticks up into space and drains entire planets of their water. It's explicitly compared to Yggdrasil.
  • The Ripple System: Ned's first major quest chain involves the high elf world tree. Ned's race wants to destroy it, pretty much for no other reason than because they're vengeful assholes. Ned turns on them at the last minute, saving the world tree and killing his own race. Ned is given a world tree seed in return, which he plants in the Black Sands.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero, Naofumi is disgusted when he discovers the "God Tree" is in fact the crepe tree he created for Kiel, having grown enormous in the centuries since.
  • The Sea of Trolls, being centered around Norse mythology, features Yggdrassil, but goes beyond the norm by stating that all religions are right and each world is just another branch on the great tree.
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: Hecate's shadow realm 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 Silmarillion: Telperion and Laurelin, the massive holy Trees of Light, used to alternately shine with silver and gold light from their flowers, lighting the entire Blessed realm... until Morgoth and 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 respectivelynote , 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), 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 Dagor Dagorath it is said the Silmarils will be recovered and renunited, and 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). In the later version of the mythos, the White Tree of the elven city of Tirion was made in the image of Telperion, its seedling became the White Tree of Tol Eressëa, its seedling became the White Tree of Númenor, and the last seedling taken from it before it was cut and burned at Sauron's insistence became the first of the four White Trees of Gondor — the first grew in Minas Ithil and was destroyed when it fell and became Minas Morgul, the second died during a massive plague, the third withered when Gondor's kings died out and became the dead tree in The Lord of the Rings, and the fourth is found rooted in the mountain above Minas Tirith in the conclusion of the story. These trees serve as symbols of the nations that planted them; they die with each further crumbling of the dying empire, but their their seedlings' survival after their parents' destruction symbolize the people of Númenor and Gondor continuing to survive and carry the spark of civilization despite the calamities befalling them.
    • The Trees' creator, Yavanna — the Vala who rules over nature and living things — often takes the form of a great tree that rises to the sky, its leaves dripping with golden dew that makes the barren earth grow rich with corn.
  • Slayers: The city of Sairaag is protected by a giant tree. Well, for a while.
  • Spellfall: The Soultrees. They're huge (so huge that walking from one end to another may take days), they have magical powers (including providing food and shelter for mages), souls of dead mages house in the tree so their relatives can speak to them, and they have other magical properties...
  • Star Wars Legends: Before Episode III, the 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.
  • Summerland is about trying to fix this tree. By playing baseball, no less.
  • Sword Art Online: 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, the Grand Quest is Unwinnable by Design, 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.
  • The Sword of Shannara Trilogy: The plot of The Elfstones of Shannara concerns the Ellcrys, the tree created by elven magic that keeps the world safe(ish) from demons.
  • Symphony of Ages, by Elizabeth Haydon: 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.
  • Tasakeru: The Shinju at the center of Unify, said to be raised by the Goddess of Life 1500 years before the story starts. It's an enormous hill cherry tree which can be seen for miles, and serves as the center pillar around which the city of Unify was built.
  • Tales from Adventureland: The Dominguez Palm, a real tree at Disneyland that was originally planted in 1896 when the park was still orange groves, is depicted as the Eternal Tree whose roots spread throughout the Earth and are said to grant eternal life.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: In the center of a Wood, the tour may come across a tree that is also a god. This will be a huge old thing, with a metaphorical hand in everything that happens in its forest. When the Wood is animated by a single forest-wide mind, this Tree is often what directs it.
  • Trash of the Count's Family: Each elf village has a branch of the World tree. The tree itself recides in an especially hidden elf village. It's also sentient, is capable of talking to people, and has mild awareness of happenings all around the world.
  • The Wheel of Time: There's 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Altered Carbon: Songspire Trees, a remnant of the Elder civilization. They have glowing blue tendrils and emit a soft-but-etherial song-like sound at all times. They also have the ability to store consciousnesses, and are actually a form of Organic Technology. The Bancrofts have actually had an entire tree imported to Earth for their mansion, at an absurdly expensive cost, both because they are beautiful and because they can. The trees also come in varying sizes. The Bancroft's is roughly 30-feet tall, whereas the one at the Quellist base on Stronghold is at least several hundred feet high and gargantuan.
  • Carnivàle: The World Tree is, interestingly enough, connected to the Tattooed Man — 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 Childhood Marriage Promise under its branches when Justin vows to build his "kingdom" in the valley below, and Iris answers "we'll build it together".
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Telperion and Laurelin, the holy Trees of Valinor appear in the Distant Prologue.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, 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.

  • Evillious Chronicles: The god Held 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, when he eventually dies of old age his successor, Michaela, grows into a new Millennium Tree in his place.
  • Queen of the Wave by Pepe Deluxé. The song "Contain Thyself" speaks of "safeguard[ing] the tree / the tree of the sheltered and free". 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.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • The Norse Yggdrasil, along with similar Slavic and Hindu 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.
  • Older Than Dirt: The oldest embodiment is the Holy Tree of Eridu in Sumerian-Babylonian 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 The Bible. 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 knowledge of Good and Evil) and the Tree of Life, which gives eternal life. The cross of Jesus has only been associated with the latter in the Bible; Jacobus de Voragine was the one to claim it was the other tree.
      • The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge are not exactly world trees in the usual sense, in that the world does not center around it, but for all intents and purposes they were this.
  • The Book of Mormon 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 Myrddin's Tree shall tumble down, then shall fall Carmarthen town." An ancient Arthurian Legend, and possibly Defictionalization. The tree, which sits in the middle of the historical Merlin's hometown, is said to be ancient. The people of Carmarthen (aka the Welsh, who are descended from the Britons) have naturally encased the stump of the old tree in concrete.
  • Ancient Hungarian mythology includes the Világfa — literally "World Tree".
  • Ancient Finnish mythology has stories of a huge tree that probably qualifies. See The Kalevala.
  • Hindu Mythology:
    • Kalpavriksha, which literally means "world tree" in Sanskrit. It is said to still exist today, in the form of the Milky Way.
    • Mount Meru is the center of all universes, be it physical, metaphysical, and spiritual. If you see a Hindu or Buddhist temple with a pointy top, that is supposed to represent Mount Meru.

    Puppet Shows 
  • It's a Big Big World: In a rainforest along the Amazon river, the characters live in a tree called the World Tree, which is symbolic of the beauty of Earth and the connection the creatures have to one another.

  • Destroy the Godmodder: 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In 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.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Certain editions, most prominently 2nd edition's Planescape setting, featured the world ash Yggdrasil, a huge tree growing in-between the planes. Its roots are in Niflheim, one of the layers of Hades, its branches end in portals to other planes, from the elven paradise of Arvandor to the planar metropolis of Sigil, and its crown is in Asgard proper. Yggdrasil is inhabited by the ratatosk, a race of humanoid flying squirrels who view themselves as the World Tree's chosen protectors, and take a dim view of interlopers who lop off branches to make campfires while traversing it.
    • 4th edition has the World Tree as one of the biggest and most important Primal Spirits; it's the embodiment of the lifeforce of The Multiverse. Not surprisingly, there's an Epic Destiny that revolves around a Primal character ascending to become a guardian of the World Tree.
  • In Exalted, the 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.
  • GURPS: Sky-high trees, described in GURPS Fantasy Bestiary, are colossal trees supposed to reach as high as the sky — or, at least, nobody has ever found out how high they actually grow — with trunks as wide across as a castle, a city or a mountain. There are even people living high up in their canopies, with cottages and farms built on the trees' limbs.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Given that it's the Norse Mythology-inspired plane, it shouldn't be surprising that the plane of Kaldheim is made up of several smaller realms connected by one of these. The tree itself is also represented by an extremely powerful land card: it effectively works like a normal Forest most of the time, but if you have six or more lands, it grants them all the ability to produce mana of any color, and if you spend two mana of each color, it can get any number of gods out of your library and onto the field.
    • In Phyrexia: All Will Be One, the Phyrexians use stolen sap from Kaldheim's world tree to grow their own: Realmbreaker, which can potentially connect New Phyrexia to every plane in the multiverse.
  • The Nobilis mythology is cored on a vast world tree. The Earth hangs from one of its branches.
  • Rifts: Millennium trees are immense plants — generally as tall as hills — found growing in places of intense magical power, typically where Ley Lines intersect. They never wilt or go dormant, leading some to speculate that their lives work on cycles centuries or millennia in length, and as long as the ley line energy is strong enough they can grow lush and green anywhere, including the middle of scorching deserts or barren tundras. They're found worldwide, but most are in England. They also grow complex, hollow and perforated boles large enough to serve as apartment buildings and can create supernatural storms and send them rocketing down their ley lines.
  • In Rocket Age 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.
  • Warhammer: Yn Edri Eternos, the Oak of Ages in the heart of Athel Loren, is the living heart of the magical forest. Its cycles dictate life for the Wood Elves and the forest spirits, and its roots stretch to every corner of the world.
  • World Tree (RPG), unsurprisingly, takes place on one of these, with immense, miles-long branches and secondary trunks seemingly going on forever, and takes it to its logical conclusion. Metal is rare, most things are made from wood, coinage is carved from amber, and civilization resides in fortified enclaves on the upper sides of branches while monsters scale the sides and the trunks.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn has the Tree of Life, upon which Suldanessellar — the hidden city of the Amnian Elves — is situated. The massive tree is deeply connected to the elves' pantheon of the Seldarine and, in some way, their long lifespan.
  • Boktai: The Solar Tree 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 sakura tree in full bloom, and Lita will be so moved she'll stammer several funny Aborted Declarations Of Love.
  • Breath of Fire III: Yggdrasil is one of the gods. There are several minor Yggdrasil around the planet and a central and much larger one, actually 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, and one of its seeds is actually a party member, Peco.
    • This actually originated in Breath of Fire II, 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 Gandalf in Japanese).
    • Su Ryong, the Tree Dragon from Breath of Fire IV 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, though its not as good as it sound.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow: Seen in the background of the fight against Abaddon. Stands out because before and after, you were descending into the Abyss.
  • Child of Eden: The Playable Epilogue consists of purifying the Tree of Memories, whose leaves are photographs of humanity's happiest moments, while a heartfelt Award-Bait Song plays.
  • In Dark Souls, the Great Hollow is 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 are hundreds more elsewhere supporting the world(s?) above.
  • Darksiders II: The Tree of Life and Death, which connects all the worlds in the cosmos together and allows easy travel between them.
  • In Devil May Cry 5, Red Grave City is being destroyed because the Qliphoth, a giant supernatural tree that gives power to demons instead of the usual humans or spirits, sprouts in the center of the city, as a twisted allusion to the Yggdrasil of Norse Mythology. And it's spreading. The game also uses Niddhog Hatchlings as a way to destroy parts of the Qliphoth as an allusion to the dragon Nidhogg of Norse Mythology who chews the roots of Yggdrasil. An in-game document file also describes the Qliphoth as the Demon World's "Tree of Life".
  • In The Day the World Broke, the elevator leading down into the underground World Works facility is hidden inside a tree, alluding to Yggdrasil.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, 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 urinates on it to gain Mabari Dominance.
    • The Vhenadahl tree in Kirkwall's Alienage seen in Dragon Age II 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.
  • Dragon Quest: An "Yggdrasil Leaf" item will bring back someone from the dead.
    • Dragon Quest II has Yggdrasil itself on an isolated island in the southern ocean where you can get such leaves.
    • Dragon Quest III has a World Tree hidden in the middle of a forest. Locating and examining the correct tree nets you a Leaf.
    • Dragon Quest IV: The World Tree Yggdrasil makes its first proper appearance in the series when you have to climb it in order to retrieve the Zenithian Sword.
    • Dragon Quest VII 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...
    • Dragon Quest IX 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. Later on, the tree is revealed to be the goddess Celestria, daughter of the Almighty.
    • Dragon Quest XI has Yggdrasil as a massive tree floating above Erdrea. It is said that each leaf represents a human life; a leaf falls when someone dies, and a new leaf blossoms when someone is born. The story deals with the Luminary and his companions trying to reach Yggdrasil while trying to keep the Big Bad from getting there.
  • Earth Eternal: In the lore backstory, 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.
  • Elden Ring:
    • The Erdtree, a gigantic, glowing, golden tree that can be easily seen from anywhere on the map. It's so huge that the highest peaks of the Mountaintops of Giants just barely come up to the Erdtree's lowest branches. It's worshipped as a divine being by the peoples of the Lands Between, claimed to be the source of all life and where all life ultimately returns. In fact, the lore says the people thought it was unique, and were very surprised when it bore seeds that began to grow more Erdtrees across the land (these Erdtree "saplings" are still the size of skyscrapers).
    • Miquella's Haligtree (Halig meaning 'holy' in Anglo-Saxon) is yet another colossal tree that dwarfs mountains, though it's still small compared to the Erdtree. It's implied that Miquella planted it as a future rival to the Erdtree and the Golden Order it represents, watering it with his own divine blood, but was kidnapped by Mohg, Lord of Blood long before the Haligtree could reach its full size and become a self-sufficient world tree. Thus, it is now a rotting husk.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 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.
  • Etrian Odyssey: The 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 man-made organisms created to cleanse Earth of pollution (which spectacularly backfired as the absorbed so much pollution that they mutated into Eldritch Abominations which would eventually release the pollution into their surroundings), while the one in The Drowned City doesn't even originate from Earth at all, and came from space to hunt down yet another Eldritch Abomination, which is now sealed in between its roots. There's at least four more of these trees around and they're all bound to undergo the same mutation as the other ones created by the Yggdrasil project. In Beyond the Myth, the local Yggdrasil was planted to support the once-dying planet, and other than the dungeons and monsters on and inside the tree does not seem to be particularly hostile to humanity; the Benevolent Precursors who planted the tree also planted similar trees on other planets in order to repopulate them.
  • Faxanadu is set on the World Tree itself. 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.
  • Fate/Grand Order: The second expansion, Cosmos in the Lostbelt, introduces Trees of Emptiness, gigantic alien trees which must be sustained until it can expand the Pocket Dimension Alternate Timeline it resides in to cover the entirety of Earth's surface and fully replace proper human history.
  • Fe has the Elder Tree situated in the Hub Level, which bestows Fe with new abilities as they collect pink crystals.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening: The Mila Tree. It is a large, majestic tree that inexplicably became a home for the older Tiki for unexplained reasons. The tree was named after Mila but never appeared in any other game at the time. In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, the plothole is filled by saying it was born from the graves of Divine Dragons, which serves as a burial ground for both Mila and Duma according to the Valentia Accordia.
    • Fire Emblem Warriors: Features a reference to the Mila Tree, which is literally named the World Tree.
    • Fire Emblem Heroes features a more literal version of this trope in the form of Yggdrasill, the Realm of the World-Tree. The realm hosts an enormous tree with dense forests, where the god of openness Askr was born, as well as the host of several animalistic characters such as Ratatoskr.
  • Free Realms: The World Tree, which serves as the Pixies' Royal Palace and holds an important role in the in-game lore. A stylized version can be found all over the game, in-universe and out.
  • In God of War (PS4), Yggdrasil is used by Kratos to travel the Nine Realms with the Bifrost.
  • In Granblue Fantasy and Rage of Bahamut, the World Tree appears as a woman with pink hair, pointy ears and a sprout growing out of her head. She's described as enormous in size, though she's able to grow and shrink at will. Her powers are associated with the elements, though in Granblue Fantasy in particular, her powers are earth-based.
  • Grandia had an evil example: the final form of the Big Bad Gaia is a gigantic tree-like lifeform near the destroyed city of Zil Padon.
  • Grow: Song of The Evertree: Alchemists can create world seeds out of essences, then plant them on the Evertree's branches. Once they're fully-grown, they can be released into the multiverse.
  • The Heart Pumps Clay: The game is about taking a Tree Trunk Tour up the Tree Of Life to get to the Source Of All Things at its top.
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice: Yggdrasil is mentioned several times, primarily when Senua's reads the Lorestones. A large and significant tree also appears when Senua pulls the sword Gramr from it, although this tree might actually be Barnstokkr.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic: In one episode of Heroes Chronicles (a spin-off campaign pack from 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 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Nyarlim is a sentient tree that is one of the oldest living mortals in existence. In the "The Legend of Dead Kel" DLC the "god" worshipped by the islanders, Akara, is another tree. Akara also reveals that there were once twelve such trees in the world.
  • Kirby: Triple Deluxe: The game takes place in the floating kingdom of Floralia, held up by the beanstalk-like plant known as the Dreamstalk. This plays a major role during the end-game, where it is revealed that the the People of the Sky Kirby saved just before he encountered Taranza and fought a brainwashed Masked Dedede sent down overnight in the hopes that it will bring Kirby to them and save them from Queen Sectonia. Then, after Sectonia is defeated for the first time, she does a Fusion Dance with the Dreamstalk to choke all the life out of Popstar in order to achieve true beauty. It is even called the World Tree in the Japanese and Korean.
  • Just Shapes & Beats: The tree often referred to by fans as the "Tree of Life", which (true to the theme of the game) is just three triangles stacked on top of each other. While fragments of this tree are able to repair The Corruption and help the protagonist in a variety of ways, the Big Bad also misuses it to power itself up multiple times throughout the story, including the interlude to the True Final Boss.
  • The Legend of Dragoon: the god of creation made a giant tree which in turn produced fruit which became the various species of the world. It only laid 108 fruit; the other billions of species of tree are apparently subspecies derived from the first 108.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: Spyro spends a good bit of the beginning looking for a large tree that both he and his mentor saw in a vision in an ancient (and deadly) grove. When he finds it, it turns out to be a sleeping Treant who doesn't much care for the visit.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Mega Man Zero: The final stage of Mega Man Zero 2 depicts this series' Yggdrasill. Upon its roots, a sleeping Original X uses his own body to seal away the Dark Elf.
  • Meteos: The planet Wuud is a planet that's just one huge tree.
  • La-Mulana 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.
  • The World Tree in Monster Girl Quest! Paradox RPG is a massive tree on an island and is the home of plant monsters.
  • Myst: The D'ni utilized the image of the Great Tree of Possibilities to symbolize the potential Ages that could be reached through their books.
    • In the Age of Riven, a vast tree used to stand on one of the islands until Gehn cut it down and hollowed out the stump to build a prison the size of an apartment. Tay, an Age made as a refuge for the people of Riven under Gehn's rule, primarily features a similar tree in which the Moiety live.
    • In Myst III: Exile, the Age of Edanna is a giant tree on a forsaken island, within which an entire ecosystem thrives.
    • In Uru, the Watcher's Pub (AKA the "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.
  • NieR: The people in the Forest of Memories cherish a great Divine Tree that towers over the rest of the forest. Interacting with it turns the game into a text adventure for the duration of the encounter, but reveals that the tree serves as an organic repository for mankind's memories from before the cataclysm that took place centuries ago. Nier destroys it, just another of his contributions to humanity's extinction over the course of the game.
  • Odin Sphere: A prophecy states that the armies of the Fire Kingdom will invade the Enchanted Forest of the fairies, 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 Odin Sphere, something which King Onyx angrily notes when Armageddon begins and their land begins to sink underwater, using it as justification for why they cannot be stopped. When the prophecies begin to come true, we learn that the fairy queen Mercedes's true name is Yggdrasil, and that she is the World Tree that would stop them. She dies defeating King Onyx, who expresses disbelief upon hearing her true name and ruefully congratulates her as he dies, and on that spot, an actual world tree grows.
  • Ōkami has the Sacred Tree of Konohana, 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.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: The Spirit Tree oversees the forest of Nibel. When the vengeful shadow bird Kuro steals Sein, the source of its magic, the forest withers and decays.
  • In Palworld, the World Tree is visible over the horizon and the Applied Phlebotinum called "Paldium" that's used to create advanced technology is said to be crystallized energy released from it.
  • Persona 4: At the end of the best ending, the heroes witness the purified Heart of Mankind, an Eden with... yes, the Tree in the center.
  • Phantom Brave 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.
  • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon: The Tree of Life. 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 Xerneas.
  • Quest for Glory III 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.
  • Röki has the Waytrees, huge, sapient trees covered in eyes that function as gateways between different parts of the game's map.
  • Ryzom: The planet on which the story takes place is literally a World Tree, one large enough for an entire planet to have accreted on its canopy.
  • In The Secret World 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, The Lifestream that powers magic. It is referred to as Yggdrasil at least once, implying that it is the World Tree referenced in Norse mythology.
  • Strider: There's a Yggdrasil (or Yugdesiral, as its mangled in English). This one, however, is a twisted, man-made mechanical Mind-Control Device 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 Millennium" where wars and poverty will be erradicated under his total control.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2: Tall Trunk Galaxy. Also, the planets on which you fight Bugaboom and Major Burrows on in the first Super Mario Galaxy, which both reappear in this game.
  • Tales Series:
    • In Tales of Phantasia, the protagonists have to revive a dying world tree called Yggdrasil.
    • The Opening Monologue of Tales of Symphonia describes a tree which was once a source of ever-flowing mana, until it was killed in a Great Offscreen War, after which the modern world is suffering from constant mana shortages. While it's believed to be a myth when the game starts, it soon becomes clear that the Giant Kharlan Tree was real, and its seed is still around, so the ultimate goal of the game is to grow a new one. Not coincidentally, the Big Bad of this game is named Yggdrasill, and the ending cutscene involves giving the new tree a Meaningful Rename. Careful investigation makes clear that Symphonia is a Stealth Prequel to Phantasia, and the tree that grows at the end of this game is the same one that had to be revived in the other game.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: The plot revolves heavily around the Summon Spirit of the Giant Kharlan Tree, the previous World Tree, who awakens immediately after Symphonia. It's interesting that he's named Ratatosk, which connects to Norse mythology, which the game takes many ideas from.
    • Tales of the Abyss had the Sephiroth Trees, which support the Floating Continent.
    • Tales of the World Radiant Mythology, where the player's goal is to revive the World Tree (again).
    • The Tales Series 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.
  • Terraria: Living Trees are gigantic trees that occasionally appear on a given map. The trees themselves do not appear to have any magic properties, but they often have tunnels leading to unique wood-themed loot, and Gnomes spawn within their tunnels more often than they do in other areas.
  • Tokimeki Memorial: In the original game, 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 La-Mulana. YOU LOOKED, JUNKER!
  • The Trader of Stories takes place in a world with a giant tree where the clouds are its naturally aerosolized sap. These clouds have sleep-inducing properties on contact, and are solid enough to be collected and used to make pillows that give pleasant dreams. Gradually gardening and accruing airborne dust, these clouds eventually congeal into boulders, which have enough antigravity properties to levitate off the ground.
  • Treasure of the Rudra features a Tree of Life whose roots extend all the way into the Netherworld.
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has Irminsul, also called the Tree of Life, a huge tree that contains a blue sap which gives everyone who drinks it Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Since it's based loosely on Norse Mythology, Yggdrasil shows up as a stage in Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria. In the first Valkyrie Profile, one recruitable character expresses an interest in Bifrost and Yggdrasil.
  • Warcraft has several in its setting, often serving as gateways to the Emerald Dream.
    • G'Hanir, the Mother Tree, appears only in the setting's backstory. It existed not in the mortal realm, but as the demense of the demigoddess Aviana, and served as the afterlife for all winged creatures, including dragons. Then Avianna was killed by demons in the War of the Ancients and G'Hanir died, but a single acorn was saved by the dragons.
    • That acorn was used to grow Nordrassil after the War of the Ancients, to both contain and distribute the power of the Well of Eternity. For millennia the great tree served as the source of the Night Elves' immortality, but in Warcraft III the Burning Legion returned and attacked Nordrassil to get at the Well of Eternity beneath it. In the Battle of Mount Hyjal, the archdruid Malfurion Stormrage unleashed Nordrassil's power to defeat the demon Archimonde, at the cost of nearly killing the great tree, which also rendered the Night Elves mortal. By World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Nordrassil has recovered enough that a questline involves defending it against the fiery elemental lord Ragnaros and his armies.
    • Between Warcraft III and World of Warcraft, the Night Elves grew another great tree, Teldrassil, in an unsuccessful attempt to regain their lost immortality — unlike Nordrassil, it was planted without nature's blessing, and was sabotaged by the corrupted druid Fandrel Staghelm, so early Night Elf quests involve combating the dark forces creeping into it. Teldrassil is also several magnitudes larger than Nordrassil and a zone unto itself, containing the Night Elves' starting area, several small towns, wilderness to quest in, and the Night Elven capital city Darnassus. And then in Battle for Azeroth, the newly-promoted Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner led the Horde to attack Teldrassil and ordered the whole tree burned. 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 Night Elf city built amongst its roots, 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 is to "accidentally" open a portal to Darnassus when someone asks for a shortcut to Ironforge or Stormwind.
    • The Wrath of the Lich King expansion introduces Vordrassil, a failed World Tree in Grizzly Hills. It was toppled by the ancient peoples who lived in the area, because it was corrupted by the Old God Yog-Saron when 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.
    • Legion adds 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 Wild AR Ms 3, one of the locations is a large technology-heavy tower called Yggdrasill, which was designed to rejuvenate the dying planet on which the game takes place.
  • 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 Shattered World.
  • World of Mana: One would be remiss not to mention the Mana Tree, which the plots of the various games at least partially revolve around. The tree is able to be cut down and otherwise destroyed, which will result in Mana seeping out of the world, but there is a way to create a new one. This requires someone to sacrifice their body so that their spirit can inhabit the new tree/become the new Goddess. This happens in Final Fantasy Adventure/Sword of Mana, Trials of Mana, and the backstory of Secret of Mana.
  • Xenogears: A variant of this trope appears in the form of the Yggdrasil; it's 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.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2 there is a World Tree in the middle of the Cloud Sea. It is said that, on top of the World Tree, a paradise called Elysium exists, where Pyra requests Rex to take her when they first meet. In reality, the World Tree, while it is actually covered with vegetation at its lower levels, is a cover for a Space Elevator connected to a space station where the Architect resides.

    Web Animation 
  • Humans-B-Gone! is set on Tricularia, a giant mutant bladderwort plant growing out of a planet and into space. It is huge enough to host whole societies of giant (as in bigger than the Statue of Liberty) insects and arachnids inside forty-eight bladders the size of countries.
  • RWBY has the Great Tree of the Ever After it's a very large tree with multi-colored leaves is visible from across multiple acres. Team RWBY believes, from Alyx's fairy tale, that it has a path to return them to Remnant. However, attempts to travel directly to it result in people suddenly appearing back at their starting point. The Cat states one does not go to the Tree, it comes to you when you're ready, as it's not a place you go but a place you know. Jaune realizes the meaning when he accepts the Tree's purpose, as the benign force behind Ascension, him and WBY immediately being transported to it in a flurry of leaves at the realization. The Tree is also revealed to be the creator of the Two Brother Gods of Light and Darkness.

  • Americano Exodus 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.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: In this strip, Paris asks Quercus about his species' 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.
  • Mob Psycho 100: 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 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.
  • In Winters In Lavelle Kari and Aiden receive their 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.
  • In xkcd's 2008 Christmas special, Yggdrasil is cut down by one of the characters... and then made into a Christmas tree.

    Web Original 
  • Dreamscape: The World Tower, actually. It keeps reality together, and if its destroyed, it will be The End of the World as We Know It. The Overlord of Evil intended to do this so he could seize control of reality by going through the space-time vortex that destroying the World Tower would create.
  • Edensphere: The whole setting is in a kind of giant fishbowl with a very large tree growing up through the center.
  • Just Another Fool: Yggdrasil is implied to hold significance. It doesn't really come back up, besides possibly indicating that Slender Man may be something involved in the matter. There's a fair amount of tree symbolism in other Slender Man material, including Marble Hornets and especially Everyman HYBRID.
  • Orion's Arm:
    • Dyson trees are genetically engineered trees that are planted in comets and spread to form continuous structures of trunks and branches. They are hollow to allow people to live inside them, making them miniature worlds in and of themselves.
    • Akilaspek are another kind of genetically engineered tree. They can grow to heights of multiple kilometres thanks to their upper portions being able to collect rainwater directly, rather than needing to transport water up from the roots (which limits the height of normal trees). They can also spread horizontally by growing additional trunks from their roots, with the largest akilaspek covering an area of over a billion square kilometres. As with dyson trees, some akilaspek are also used for living space.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • Yaldabaoth, the principal deity of the Sarkic cults (in this case meaning the cosmic power they exploit in a slightly more respectful manner), provides an example of the corrupted world tree archetype. One part Almighty Idiot, one part Mother of a Thousand Young, and one part inverted Planetary Parasite, it does for Life Energy what Light Is Not Good did for The Power of the Sun.
    • SCP-6002 is a gigantic tree in northern California whose branches contain the genomes of all organic life forms on Earth. Modifying a species's genome in 6002 causes matching genetic changes in the members of the species itself, and severing a branch of the tree will cause the extinction of all organisms whose genomes resided on that branch (and vice versa). It's currently suffering from a spreading anomalous blight resulting from some ill-advised Foundation experimentation on the tree; nothing that's been tried has been able to permanently stop its advance, and the infection is projected to completely destroy 6002's crown, wiping out all organic life on Earth, within 300 years.
  • Whateley Universe: As of "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", it looks like Team Kimba is going to have to seek out and grow new World Trees from scratch or else Fey isn't going to be able to cast her high-level spells anymore. Later, Pejuta identifies a Lakota heirloom as a surviving World Tree seed, and together she and Fey plant it in The Grove. However, these World Trees aren't quite the classic form of this trope, as they exist within the world (rather than the other way around) and there can be multiple World Trees.

    Western Animation 
  • Ark: Yggdrasil grows in the Underground World and acts a seal binding a powerful demon in Niflheim. Ark later learns that there were originally four World Trees, three of which died during the Dark Century. Restoring them will return lost continents.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Employed in "The Swamp". 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 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 Yue, Katara sees Kya, and Aang sees Toph), and they "all have the same roots and are all branches of the same tree."
    • In The Legend of Korra 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 Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Yggdrssil appears. It's also the source of Odin's power.
  • Danny Phantom: "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.
  • Dragons: The Nine Realms: The realms of the Hidden World are based on the realms of the World Tree Yggdrasil from Norse Mythology. In-universe, it's the other way around.
  • Hilda: Season 3 introduces the Faratok Tree, which has roots that connect to alternate versions of itself in different dimensions and timelines, allowing those who enter its hollow to come out to a different world or time period.
  • Justice League: In "Hearts and Minds", the true form of the Pitar is a colossal tree whose power transforms a barren world into a lush paradise.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Season 4 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 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 return the Elements to the Tree to save it. The Tree then produces a strange box with six keyholes. The chest grants Rainbow Power and a castle that generates a map artifact connected to the tree and every part of Equestria that detects friendship problems anywhere and directs appropriate protagonists to it, suggesting an abstract but omniscient intelligence.
  • The Secret Saturdays has the Methuselah, a colossal underground tree that is the source of all water on Earth. It was sought after by Eterno, a Warrior-King from centuries past that was cursed to turn whatever he touched into salt as he sought to slake his thirst, nearly evaporating all of the worlds' oceans until he finally drank sap from the Methuselah and crumbled into a pile of salt afterwards.

  • Disney Theme Parks: Walt Disney World in Florida has the Tree of Life, which is a giant 145 foot tall 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.
  • Dyson trees (see also Tree Vessel) are plants genetic-engineered to live in space, that would grow on comet nuclei and would have sizes of up to kilometers supporting an ecosystem/human colony.

    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.
  • 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 was originally thought to be over eighty thousand years old, although later studies of the area's climate history put it as "merely" having been around somewhere between ten and fifteen thousand years.

Alternative Title(s): The World Tree, Tree Of Life, Yggdrasil