The world is covered in trees that are miles high. A resident of the planet climbs to the highest tree top to find a crashed ship. He has never been to that level before. This leads him on a journey to the lowest depths which no one has seen before, which is full of strange creatures. I think the cover showed the resident climbing down into the dark lower areas with tree roots and glowing creatures.

It was a very small book, and a very quick read. I stayed up all night to finish it. I borrowed it from a friend who was into Dune in about 1986.

  • Do you remember the book's cover picture? When did you read it? Any more details would help
    – Simpleton
    May 14, 2018 at 7:33
  • do not remember the cover. it was a very small book. very quick read. stayed up all night and finished it. borrowed from a friend who was into Dune about 1986. he really loved it also. May 14, 2018 at 7:43
  • 1
    take it back, i think the cover showed the resident climbing down into the dark lower areas with the tree roots and glowing creatures. May 14, 2018 at 7:44
  • 5
    Obviously, the planet is Kashyyk. May 14, 2018 at 12:56
  • Possible duplicate of YA Trilogy written in 80's/90's
    – Otis
    May 18, 2018 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


I believe it is Midworld by Alan Dean Foster.

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Midworld is a planet entirely covered by a rain forest three-quarters of a kilometer (almost half a mile) tall. Born is a member of the primitive human society that has lived peacefully on Midworld for hundreds of years, careful not to disturb the natural balance of the jungle. His people live in a gigantic tree called the Home Tree. When they die, they are ceremonially buried in another gigantic tree of a species called They-Who-Keep. Each of the locals forms a lifetime bond with a powerful and intelligent photosynthetic animal called a furcot. When they need to damage a plant they are familiar with, they communicate with it empathetically ("emfoling") to make sure it does not object.

The world is disrupted by the arrival of an exploitative business venture from Earth whose representatives know nothing of the delicate stability of the planet. A man and a woman from this company crash in their aircraft near Born's home. He, a fellow hunter named Losting (both hunters are in love with the tribe's most beautiful girl), and their furcots lead the castaways safely through the jungle's surprising dangers to their station.

Born realizes that the newcomers are on his world to gain a life-extending drug from the burls formed by the They-Who-Keep trees around buried people. Horrified by this discovery and the invaders' callousness toward living beings, he uses native plants and animals to destroy their station. In the final fight Losting is killed, but Born returns to the Home Tree. Losting's brain and mind are absorbed to form part of a developing planet-wide network of consciousness involving They-Who-Keep and the furcots.

Other books with giant forests are Hothouse by Brian Aldiss and Earth in Twilight by Doris Piserchia.

  • 19
    Wow, story is a lot like the movie Avatar. May 14, 2018 at 10:54
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    There was also a novella or serialized novel published in Analog magazine in the 1980s, titled (in that form), "Class Six Climb" about climbing a tree (cover illustration made it look like a redwood or sequoia) that stood multiple kilometers tall. Absolutely not the book the questioners is seeking, but related by the giant trees.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    May 14, 2018 at 11:41
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    @Organic Marble: The plot in Avatar is also very like the one in FernGully: The Last Rainforest. May 14, 2018 at 12:41
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    Avatar had a plot? I just watched it for the best cgi ever done before and since. But truly I think all stories are inspired by previous stories,
    – Pliny
    May 14, 2018 at 13:53
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    Exploitative invaders/coloinsts with comparably hi-tech vs. peaceful, primitive and nature-dwelling natives seems to be a common trope throughout several genres, starting with Pocahontas, spanning Avatar and featuring in video games like Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic, too. The distinct mark here was the description of the overburdening flora and well as the detailed description of the journey.
    – Anonymous
    May 15, 2018 at 5:40

This is a common theme in SF Ursula K Le Guin wrote about the exact same thing in "The Word for World is Forest".

Kevin J Anderson created such a world in his "Saga of the Seven Suns" series "The worldtrees of Theroc " were giant sapient trees miles high and were able to form spaceships.

The most prominent human world aside from Earth is Theroc, a planet covered in semi-sentient worldtrees that is quietly independent from the Hansa. Theroc's "green priests" are able to commune with the trees and communicate telepathically across space when touching a treeling, making them indispensable for instantaneous communication across the galaxy.

There are many other examples.

  • 2
    It's worth noting that this id request already has an accepted answer but these match enough they're worth mentioning for someone with a similar request.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Feb 18, 2019 at 12:57

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