When I was in primary school (~1988-1993) I read a novel in which the story was effectively told from the point of view of a tree (possibly an oak?). It went into detail about events that went on around it; one example was one of the World Wars.

People have suggested The Giving Tree in the past, but this wasn't right; I specifically remember it being a novel.

  • 2
    It's an interesting conceit, but as you've described it is it actually a fantasy or science fiction story?
    – DavidW
    Aug 14, 2023 at 22:52
  • If the tree is truly intelligent, it would definitely fit fantasy, but often it's just a literary device, like having a wall survey the ruin of a bombed town or having the sun glare down upon the impudent crops.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Aug 14, 2023 at 23:22
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    Further to Fuzzy's point, The Island of Missing Trees although ostensibly from the viewpoint of a tree, is merely using the device of a tree as a location from which a third-person perspective views the story.
    – DavidW
    Aug 14, 2023 at 23:31
  • Perhaps more of an honourable mention, but there's a passage in Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man from the perspective of trees. Illustrating the idea that they would experience time very differently to people. Quoted in the first reply to this thread reddit.com/r/HelpMeFind/comments/pnbh24/…
    – AJFaraday
    Aug 15, 2023 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


I believe you are seeking "The Direction of the Road" by Ursula K. Le Guin. This story is told from the sentient viewpoint of a roadside tree, which considers itself to be moving whenever travelers pass by. As transportation increases in both speed and volume, the tree feels the stress of having to move in multiple directions and speeds simultaneously. I'll include a link to Xpressenglish for the text.

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