Tree's NamesEdit

  • Jela's ancient self-aware Tree is named Jelaza Kazone, meaning "Jela's promise fulfilled" or something of that sense. Not coincidentally, Korval's clanhouse is also named Jelaza Kazone. The sprawling clanhouse encircles Tree with "The Ship of the Migration" (aka "Quick Passage") resting beneath, attached to the cellar, and the roots all twined around. (See Jelaza Kazone the house. See Jela.)
  • Tree and house, the place, is also called "undertree", especially by the young, as Quin reflects: "He’d shot every other day when he was undertree and missed it dearly..."[1]
  • Rool Tiazan refers to Tree as a ssussdriad. [2] The Uncle also knew Tree to be of the ancient race of Ssussdriads.[3]
  • At times, Cantra referred to Tree as "Jela's damn vegetable" [4]
  • Family name: Laar. Tree has memories from ancestors -- memories that date back eons before its time. Tree is likely a descendant of Laar / The Laar. In Dragon Tide, the small dragon Stregalaar calls his own specific tree Laar. When survival requires it, Laar swims (or wading in deep water?) becoming "The Grove that Moves" (fitting title for Tree's ancestral line).[5]

Ssussdriad PlanetEdit

  • The name of Tree's homeworld planet is not stated, but it was listed in the historical records, dating back 2000 years. The planet included oceans, rivers, mountains, polar ice caps. Snow fell in the mountains, in the winter. Seasonal flooding occurred, and rare earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves, floods, etc.[6][5]
  • The planet was home to huge self-aware trees. The trees grew taller than the canyon and cliff tops. [6] Long before the Sherieka attacks, dragons perched in the branches of the mighty trees, and seemed to have a familial, telepathic, mutually beneficial relationship with them. [5][7]
  • Jela half believes that the trees actually walked: "the long trip the trees had undertaken from the side of a mountain to the ocean." [7] This fits with Dragon Tide, where Laar moved (waded?).[5]
  • Jela counted more than 3,000 fallen trees on the moribund planet, until he came to the last lone survivor. A young sapling, "It was hardly thicker than his arm"[8]
  • Inhabitants of the Ssussdriad homeworld have died, all save one: "He might, thought Uncle, gazing down at the pods on Dulsey’s palm, be the only one left who remembered the name of the great race of trees. Ssussdriad."[9]

Tree as WarriorEdit

  • Jela perceives the mighty trees as warriors who resisted the Sherieka -- at great cost -- until the Great Enemy retreated to lurk around the edges of the system. "He should take a piece for cloning, plant them throughout the Arm" [8]
  • Jela tells Cantra, "That tree is more soldier than I'll ever be. It held a planet against the sheriekas, all by himself, when it wasn't any thicker than my first finger here."[10]
  • Jela says, "This tree saved my life. It and its kin fought off the Sheriekas for -- who knows for how long? For dozens of centuries. There is no other reason I can think of that this system was left alone for so long. And why it's got so much attention now."[11]
  • Tree shows Cantra images of the trees holding off the Sherieka by sheer will, until all the Elder Trees had fallen[10]
  • Tree influences enemy hydroponics, making the plants wilt. [3]
  • Tree has been known to throw branches and other debris at unwanted visitors. [12] [13]
  • A mercy killing: “Theonna yos’Phelium,” the Uncle said, looking away again toward the status lights, “was mad.”....“The Tree killed her,” Daav said gently. “Her last notation in the logbook stated that she had asked this boon. She was weary, and her mind was beginning, truly, to fray.... she had been found in the garden, beneath the Tree, umarked and with a calm face. She appeared, at first, to be sleeping.” The Uncle closed his eyes.[14]

Tree as WizardEdit

  • The Tree is telepathic and clairvoyant. It communicates in images, and in dreams. At times, it sends warnings of danger. For example, Tree shows Jela pictures of large rodents, depicting the imminent arrival of enemy soldiers, the sherieka's Prototype Ms.[15]
  • In its pictures, the Tree sometimes represents clan members as dragons, including Jela (a black dragon),[16] Cantra (a golden dragon),[16] Tor An yos'Galan (a jewel-colored dragonet)[17] and Theo (a white dragon).[18]
  • Tree produces enticing, edible seed-pods, and occasionally demonstrates pharmacological abilities by biochemically tailoring individual pods.
    • In one example, a chemically enhanced seed-pod saves a life[19]. In another example, specialized seed-pods extend a life [20] Also, because they both eat Tree's seed-pods, Cantra and Jela are able to procreate, despite sterility.[21]
  • Tree's seed pods overwrite the DNA programmed into a remastering (cloning) unit [22]
  • Tree effects the microclimate, subtly increasing the temperature in the immediate area.[23]
  • It modifies plants at the genetic level, enabling them to better withstand cold. [23]

Life SpanEdit

  • We do not know the typical life span of a Ssussdriad, but Jelaza Kazone is at least 1,000 years old, possibly 1300. [24]
  • Tree is not old yet: "As best we know, it is in the prime of its life, pilot, and not likely to fall for many, many years." [25]
  • See the Timeline for dates relating to Tree and the Ssussdriad planet.


  • fan-made image of Tree removed at authors' request
  • "A pleasingly tree-like trunk and nice, broad four-fingered leaves"[26]
  • Trunk is silvery and fuzzy: "Er Thom lay his palm flat against the silvery trunk."[24] Jela's sapling had fuzzy bark. [27]
  • a fist-sized pod in quarters [27] with a "firm green shell" when ripe[28]
  • Jela's sapling was half as tall as Jela, its trunk as thick as his arm.[27]
  • Jela's sapling had a comparatively huge and heavy bulbous growth on the taproot. It was head-sized, and shaped like an onion.[11] A brain, probably: Tree's ancestor survived a cataclysm that resulted in "broken, brainless trees"[5]
  • Tree's fuzzy bark warms to the touch for welcome visitors [29], [30], but turns ice cold to show hostility or displeasure.[25]
  • glowing: "Syl Vor hadn't known that the Tree glowed in the green light as soft as mist."[29]
    • no glow in Ghost Ship: "the greater blackness that was the Tree's monumental bulk"[23]
    • Neogenesis says that Tree Court glows at Tree's whim: "The whole area was bathed in a thick pearly light, as if it were filled with luminous mist. That was odd, but not unprecedented. The Tree adapted its environment to suit its best needs or, as he sometimes suspected, its whim. Inside the misty, pearly light, the Tree was…dancing." (Just a trick of the light, as Tree manipulates the environment)
  • From Dragon Tide, we know a Ssussdriad can reshape its branches and trunk at will, at least to some extent: "the nest branch was changing in some way... Was it taller? Did it leave him a firmer perch at the new top?"[5]

Size of TreeEdit



  • The word "monumental" is used frequently. In Crystal Soldier, Jela spotted "the structures" from space on his recon runs over the dying planet.[6]* He mused, "Their crowns must have reached above the canyon rim, and together they may have shaded the valley."
  • Excerpt, Crystal Soldier (sems to imply that Trees were 500-1000 feet high):

"The trees he'd been following for the last -- however long it had been -- now were downright skinny, as if they'd been striving for height at the expense of girth, but that was only six or eight times his own paltry height, rather than a hundred times or two."[8]

  • Towering Height: "Daav's house nestled at the far end of the valley, glimpsed briefly as they crested the hill, with a tree soaring out of the center....Korval's tree was -- somewhat taller than she had expected, its arms reaching high and wide across the pale sky." [31] "Aellianna swallowed, staring at the Tree, the clouds of evening tangled in its tall branches."[32]
  • Theo considers Tree to be "impossibly tall"[33] When she first saw it, on Liad, she compared its height to the arm of a space station: "By the second turn, she realized that she was on course for the tree that was improbably growing out of the center of the house. It had seemed as big as one of Codrescu's arms when she'd seen it from the taxi. Looking up now into a sky lacy with branch and leaf, she thought it might be bigger."[34]
  • Tree visible from Solcintra: Mr. dea'Gauss can see Korval's Tree from the back window of his Solcintra office. [35]
  • Tree's crown visible from Port City, Surebleak:
    • "Korval still lived under Tree, which was well enough, and from spot and spot around the city she was pleased to see the crown or more of that great Tree, and...she bowed to it from time to time, as she had in Solcintra." [36]
  • Circumference: "The base diameter of the downed trunk was easily six or seven times his own height"[37] (reminiscent of "drive-through trees" / giant sequoia)
  • EXCERPT, Local Custom: Anne's first impressions of Jelaza Kazone:

"They climbed a sudden hill, and a valley stretched before them. At the near end, Anne saw a cluster of trees....On the far side of the valley were more trees and -- soaring high into the green-tinged cloudless sky, a...Tree. What on —?" She sat forward in the seat..."It can't be a tree?!"
"And yet, it is a tree," Er Thom said. "Jelaza Kazone."
'Jelaza Kazone,' the professorial corner of her mind supplied helpfully, meant 'Jela's peace' or 'Jela's fulfillment.' She stared at the impossible tallness of it, and licked lips suddenly gone dry. "Who was Jela," she murmured?
"Cantra yos'Phelium's partner, all honor to him, who died before the Exodus."
...Anne sighed, slowly, and shook her head."It's the Tree? Jela's original?"...."That makes it, what? Nine hundred years old?"
"Somewhat...older, perhaps." he said. [24]


  • Tree demonstrates various emotions, including joy when Clan Korval was officially founded[38]
  • Hostility, in Scout's Progress: "The wind, which had been playing among the moonvines, roared into the branches above their heads...Samiv tel'Izak cried out, wordless and high, and raised both arms to shield her head."[25]
  • Tree felt "acute awareness, excitement, amazement" about space travel.[23]
  • On Surebleak, Jelaza Kazone seems eager to "help" the plants and weather. "The Tree had been bored on Liad, no question, and was finding the move to Surebleak, and the subsequent calls on its assistance, exhilarating." [18] (Tree may prefer Surebleak's weather to Liad's temperate climate, since its home planet had seasonal floods, seasonal snow in the mountains, etc.)

Tree HouseEdit

  • In Local Custom, Er Thom is "seated on the platform he and his brother had built as children, the world below reduced to proper insignificance."[39] Daav climbs Tree: "A steady ten-minute climb brought him to a wooden platform firmly wedged between three great branches." [40]


  • Jelaza Kazone is probably gender-neutral, but possibly female: "Strange energies informed her leaves." [23] (is this referring to Miri, or Tree?)
  • "She felt her sap falling, and knew her death was near...yet she bent her energies to her last task, and produced a pod."[8](Is this Cantra, or Tree, feeling this memory?)

Tree's ChildrenEdit

  • Ssussdriads -- born of Jelaza Kazone -- have been given to family, friends, and allies. The captain's lifeboat carries a "keep-safe" of six stasis-bound seedlings from Jelaza Kazone. [41]
  • A Ssussdriad grows on the grounds of Clan Erob on planet Lytaxin. (Erob are allies, descended from Rool Tiazan.) From Plan B: "It was a largish tree, Miri thought, with a pleasingly tree-like trunk and nice broad four-fingered leaves a shade greener and a shade less blue than the grass. Nuts or seed pods hung in clusters here and there, and the whole thing smelled good."[42]
    • In Plan B, Val Con and Miri greet Erob's tree. It gives them seed pods and a leaf for Miri. [43] Later in the book, Erob's Ssussdriad exuberantly welcomes Shan to Lytaxin. [44] Still later, Tree's offspring gives a seedpod to Miri, for Daav.[42]
  • Yulie Shaper, Korval's neighbor, received a tender shoot to plant in his far field: "It'll do like your big one's doing, pulling in some warm, sucking in some water, keeping out some of the cold and breeze. I'd be pleased to have it with me, and it'll give yours some company." [30] (Is the treelet payment for Yulie's island?)
  • Two saplings will grow beside Trealla Fantrol, to be built on an island on Surebleak. "They're almost twins, and I think they'd like the sea air." [30] (original Ssussdriad world had oceans)
  • The oldest of Tree's children is nonetheless still a treelet. More than a millenium ago, Cantra placed the sapling on Spiral Dancer with the autopilot set to reach specific coordinates [45]
    • Bechimo and crew hear Spiral Dancer call SOS in Teapot Space / Wyrd Space. Win Ton investigates the old craft: "The pilot’s chair was empty [...] A fiber box had been grey-taped to the co-pilot’s chair [...] In the box… was a tree, its leaves green with health, and moving slightly in what may have been the breeze from a ventilator duct. On the whole, it seemed happy to see him."[46]


  1. Roving Gambler, in Liaden Universe Constellation III
  2. Crystal Soldier, ch 32
  3. 3.0 3.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 25
  4. Crystal Soldier, ch 16
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Dragontide
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Crystal Soldier, ch 1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 5
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Crystal Soldier, ch 2
  9. Ghost Ship, ch 11
  10. 10.0 10.1 Crystal Dragon ch 2
  11. 11.0 11.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 4
  12. Scout's Progress
  13. Dragon in Exile, ch 33
  14. Alliance of Equals, ch 19
  15. Crystal Dragon, ch 20
  16. 16.0 16.1 Crystal Dragon, ch 15
  17. Crystal Dragon, ch 34
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ghost Ship, ch 36
  19. Crystal Dragon, ch 16
  20. Crystal Dragon, ch 18
  21. Crystal Dragon, ch 22
  22. Alliance of Equals, ch 19
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Ghost Ship, ch 8
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Local Custom, ch 17
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Scout's Progress, ch26
  26. Plan B, ch 4
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Crystal Soldier, ch 3
  28. The Gathering Edge, ch 13
  29. 29.0 29.1 Necessity's Child, ch 13
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Dragon in Exile, epilogue
  31. Mouse & Dragon, ch 9
  32. Mouse & Dragon, ch 13
  33. Ghost Ship, ch 27
  34. Saltation
  35. Mouse & Dragon, ch 16
  36. Skyblaze
  37. Crystal Soldier, ch 2
  38. Crystal Dragon, ch 31
  39. Local Custom, ch 25
  40. Scout's Progress, ch 5
  41. Plan B, Erob's Boundary, Quarry Warzone
  42. 42.0 42.1 Plan B, Lytaxin, Approaching Erob
  43. Plan B, Lytaxin, Approaching Erob
  44. Plan B, Lytaxin Warzone, Altitude 12 Kilometers
  45. Crystal Dragon, ch 33
  46. Dragon Ship, ch 41