I read this book a long time ago (+30 years)

The story is about a scientist that arrive on a planet where people (humans) worship a huge tree. There is a priestly class and a worker class on the planet. The scientist finds out that the workers are going inside the tree as food.

When the priests get a seed of the tree to an other planet, the scientist and others find a way to destroy the 'son of tree'.

In the end they will try to destroy the huge tree on the other planet.

  • I'm thinking this is by Jack Vance. Off to thumb through the Shelf 'o Vance. Jan 27, 2015 at 19:03
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    The bit about priests going inside the tree vaguely reminds of a short (read decades ago) about a planet with a huge tree and a priesthood persuading people (just the old?) to make a pilgrimage (in) to it. Lines of people file in... noone comes out, tree gets bigger. Maybe someone's son doesn't want their father to go, and goes with them? I seem to remember that doesn't end well. Thing is, I don't recognize the other stuff about a scientist and the tree being seeded on another planet, in fact it was more fantasy than SF.
    – timday
    Jan 27, 2015 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


Possibly Son of the Tree by Jack Vance.

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Similarities: Huge tree, visiting spaceman, ruling clique (Druids) over the Laity. The Son of the Tree is destroyed in the end.

Dis-similarity: I don't remember them feeding people to the tree, and thumbing through the story, I don't see that either. But I may have missed it (it's a long story).

  • 2
    If I recall correctly, the Druid religion stated that people spiritually joined with the tree on death, but it's revealed at the end that the tree has an animal component that feeds on flesh, which matches the OPs recollection.
    – Cugel
    Jan 28, 2015 at 9:04
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    Sorry for the delay. Found a copy of the story in Amazon , had to read it first. Thanks for the answer .
    – Bigben59
    Jan 28, 2015 at 9:48

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