From Tolkien Gateway
Yavanna's mighty trees by Ted Nasmith

Olvar was a Quenya word for the plants and plant-life in the care of Yavanna. Unlike the kelvar, they are inanimate. Trees are the highest of the olvar.

Yavanna had sown seeds early in the Spring of Arda, and they sprouted and burgeoned quickly; mosses, grasses, great ferns and trees. Flowers and birds "waited still their time in the bosom of Yavanna; but wealth there was of her imagining" and they came later.[1] After the destruction of the Two Lamps, the Great Lands were left in darkness, and Yavanna protected the olvar by setting them to sleep and they did not grow until light should come again.[2] However, there were still kelvar in Valinor; and in Nan Elmoth the trees grew tall while Thingol was entranced by Melian.[3]

After her husband Aulë created the Fathers of the Dwarves, she became concerned for the fate of both the kelvar (animals) and olvar (plants) at the hands of their descendants. She spoke of her fears to Manwë, who revealed that Eru intended that spirits should be sent to dwell among some of the olvar and protect them. This was the ultimate origin of the beings who came to be known as Ents.[4]


Olvar is Quenya, glossed as "growing things with roots in the earth".[5]

There is a similarity to other relevant words (perhaps variants) such as olwa[6] and olba[7] which are however glossed as "branch".[8] In The Etymologies, olwa is derived from the root GÓLOB.