In the first official picture from Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, we get to take a gander at Groot: a humanoid-tree creature from space who will be voiced by Vin Diesel. A great many trees have laid their roots accross the pop culture landscape, and they often take the form of ancient beings offering pearls of wisdom to young adventurers. Our friend Groot isn’t much for wisdom (considering he can only say three words), but he is a noble warrior ready to defend the galaxy.
In celebration of Groot and his bark-laden brethren, we’ve compiled a gallery of our favorite trees in pop culture history. Be they sentient branched creatures in epic fantasy films or the metaphorical characters from the storybooks that were printed on the paper of the very species they told about, each of these arborial heroes holds a place in our heart. Check out our list, and see if your favorite spruce or oak made the cut.