Tolkien Gateway


The name White Tree refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see White Tree (disambiguation).
Other names"White Tree"
Familymany seedlings (including Celeborn)
Appearancemade in the image of Telperion

Galathilion, the White Tree, was a tree made by Yavanna for the Elves of the city of Tirion. It was made in the image of Telperion, as the Amanyar loved the White Tree most, although it gave no light.[1]

It grew in the Great Square, a high open courtyard beneath the Mindon Eldaliéva, and had many seedlings in Eldamar. From it came Celeborn, the White Tree of Tol Eressëa;[1] through which it became the ancestor of Nimloth of Númenor and the White Tree of Gondor.[2]

[edit] Genealogy

Made in the image of Telperion
First tree of Gondor (Minas Ithil)
Second tree of Gondor (Minas Anor)
Third tree of Gondor (Minas Tirith)
Fourth tree of Gondor (Minas Tirith)

[edit] Etymology

The name is Sindarin, and is glossed as "White Tree". It contains the elements galadh ("tree") and thil ("shine silver)".[3]

The final element could be the patronymic -ion, perhaps indicating the tree descents from Telperion.[4]

[edit] Other names

It was also known was the Tree of Tirion[5] or Tree of Túna.[2]

Galathilion was at first a name for Telperion, "but in after days Galathilion the Less was the name of the White Tree of Túna."[6]

Legolas noted that the Doors of Durin displayed the Tree of the High Elves,[7][note 1] which probably represented Galathilion.[8][9]


  1. Actually the drawing of the Doors, displays a pair of trees flanking the composition, not a sole tree; unless they are both taken to symbolize the "Tree of the High Elves".


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entries kal-, sil-
  4. Paul Strack, "S. Galathilion pn.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 30 June 2020)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (I) The First Phase: 2. Of Valinor and the Two Trees", p. 155
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark"
  8. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entries "Emblems — Eldar", "Tree of the High Elves"
  9. Mark Fisher, "Tree of the High Elves" dated 4 July 2008, Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 15 June 2021)