Giant trees are fantastic fictional plants that tower over the surrounding area. Featured often in fantasy worlds and space operas, these fictional trees may be as large as a skyscraper, or as large as an alien planet. Fictional giant trees may be sacred to a local religion or may be critical to a fictional ecosystem. There may be a single tree that towers above all else or these trees may be one of many within a giant forest. They may contain treetop towns. They may be hollow inside creating inner tree chambers. They may have massive root areas and canopy areas. The may be overgrown with vines. Once dead, they may form giant hollow logs or giant snags. Giant trees are home to elves, human explorers with advanced climbing gear, and arboreal species.
Designing Fictional Giant Trees
Height & Other Characteristics
Having a general sense for how large a fictional giant tree is can be an important consideration. Real world giant sequoia (redwood trees) are the largest trees on earth and grow to an average height of 50–85 m (164–279 ft) with trunk diameters ranging from 6–8 m (20–26 ft). Record trees have been measured at 94.8 m (311 ft) tall. Fictional giants trees, of course, may be far larger than this.
Fictional trees often use real trees as the basis for their design. Giant trees may resemble great oaks, willows, or redwood trees. Worldbuilders should consider what type of tree they may want to model after.
Real giant trees, such as the redwoods, often have pockets of soil trapped within the upper branches of their canopy. This canopy soil (formed by decaying leaves and other plant matter) often has other mosses, ferns, and plants that grow from it. Fantasy inhabitants of giant trees may make use of these canopy soil deposits as gardens or farmland.