Trees are fascinating. I often think about what they would do, if they would have minds like we do. Could they form an own race? Would they organize in states like we do? Could they go in war? Maybe even with mankind?

So always this question came up in my head: Would trees after all be capable of moving? I don't mean expanding like forests in real life do. I think about being mobile. A mobility needed for fighting a war against other trees (men, robots, etc...). Expanding is too slow for this use.

Trees in my imagination have (beside the consciousness, intelligence, communicative ability) a kind of muscles. An average tree (stem diam. ~0.5m) is able to move their stem by ca. 5 degrees in all directions, large branches (diam. ~15cm) by ca. 10 deg in all directions and small branches (diam. ~5cm) by ca. 25 deg.

I think about

  • Tools (eg catapults) which can be built by described trees.

  • Teamwork. Maybe your technique requires hundreds of trees of with slightly different abilities to move just one tree. Just remember, that a tree should be able to move in hostile territory, where no rooted trees of our species are.


  • Trees need supplies (water, nutrients..., but why not trees, who have storages, filled in their rooted time..)

  • Trees should still live at their destination!

You don't have to explain how they came to be.

I'm interested in many different techniques. (Birch trees use this way of moving, oak this way....)

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding.SE Filius! You might be interested in some of our existing questions, such as Anatomically Correct Ent. Could you please edit to clarify what exactly you are asking? Your first paragraph for example has multiple questions and most of them look opinion-based to me - but it looks like they are more of some introduction and the real question is about the trees moving - which is similar to what I linked. If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Feb 2 '18 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ Well, the first paragraph isn't meant to ask questions, just as introduction. The following paragraph describes my question and paragraph 3 the trees in my imagination. $\endgroup$ – Filius Patris Feb 2 '18 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest deleting the parts about teamwork and catapults, as that has nothing to do with whether trees could move/walk. It's also unclear if this it meant to be scientifically feasible or fantasy; more tags would help. $\endgroup$ – rek Feb 2 '18 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ @rek It would interest me, how a "tree empire" could make trees to advance, to move. Ni matter in what way; if single trees move or if they need tools to move or if they just can move in groups. How could I clarify that? $\endgroup$ – Filius Patris Feb 3 '18 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion Yeah... This question is about the same as what I asked. Should I mark it as duplicate? $\endgroup$ – Filius Patris Feb 3 '18 at 13:04

The reason trees are sessile is to obtain water. Now, a small percentage of plants obtain water from air, or collect dew (and even have cups that are designed to pool water). So there is some real-life precedent to eliminating roots, but not on the scale of a tree.

However -

Plants, in general, are the most manipulative kingdom on earth. They have to be - they cannot move. They need us to do their work for them.

They are in some ways more interesting because of this. They are generally sessile, and yet still need to grow and reproduce and disperse, all without mobility. And so, they have evolved all manner of mechanisms to meet their needs - physical methods (wind, etc) and manipulation of mobile creatures (us, birds, bees, and many others) and some other tricks I'm forgetting.

Manipulation of us: They are pretty. They smell nice. They taste good.

We eat tomatoes, and many other fruit, and the seeds are transported by us, in our intestines, and come through the other end completely intact with a small lump of fertilizer to boot. Talk about clever.

Some seeds grab onto us, onto fur or clothing. Some works its way into us, until we stop, wrench the thing out and throw it on the ground - where it happily sprouts anew.

More manipulation of us: THEY MAKE CAFFEINE AND OTHER DRUGS. We propagate them for these items.

The drug thing is key, here.

If you can find a way to have your sessile trees drug a mobile creature and thereby convince it to fight the tree battle, you might have a more clever scenario.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.