Years ago I read a short story in a SF magazine about a human colony on an alien planet. They lived a simple farming life and at the top of every hill around the village was a large tree. They did not realize that the trees were intelligent and were psychically controlling them- keeping them docile and farming the land.

Occasionally the trees would command them to fight each other and the trees would absorb their dead bodies into the soil, until a human child grew up and realized he was immune to their control and he decided to fight them.

  • 2
    How long ago is 'Years ago'? Can you remember what magazine? Where did you read it/what language was it in? Every detail is important.
    – Mithical
    Sep 16, 2016 at 9:31
  • 1
    Not the same as this one, right? Intelligent trees that use humans as slaves on another planet...
    – Mr Lister
    Sep 16, 2016 at 16:02
  • There was a "star trek enterprise" version of this Vos Sola Mar 22, 2017 at 21:21
  • I remember a story fitting this description, though unfortunately not the title or author. If your story is the one I'm thinking of, the main character was Sam and his fiancee was Ginger. In one scene he had to tie her up to prevent the tree-being from using her against him.
    – Magneto
    Jun 19, 2017 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


I think the story in question is "Chlorophyll" by Stephen Tall, first published in the June 1976 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The magazine can be read online at the Internet Archive here.

Some excerpts:

In view of the valley, all along its length, were high, round-topped hills. Atop each hill a single great green Being sat and grew, majestic and beautiful and ancient. Thus God was always with the people. He was always in view. He was jealous God, and he demanded obedience. To go to God was eventually, every man's fate. It was his ultimate ecstasy. It was his final glory.

From the time he was small, Sam had helped to prepare the gifts, the offerings, to the great green Beings on the hills. He knew full well that all the tools that he used in his work, the hoes and the rakes, the scythes and mattocks and chisels, all had made the pilgrimage up the nearest hill, that they might be blessed by the green God. And he knew that each blessing had cost lives. Men had later trudged up the hill, gathered the goods and implements blessed for use, and brought them soberly down.

"It is wrong," he would mutter. "It is wicked. And," he would add darkly, "one of these days I'll prove it!"


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