- This article is about the World Trees. For the portals to the Emerald Dream, see Great Tree.
World Trees are giant trees grown by powerful night elf druids. There are five confirmed World Trees: Nordrassil, Teldrassil, Vordrassil, Shaladrassil, and an unnamed tree.
Nordrassil, which means "Crown of the Heavens", was the original World Tree planted on the summit of Mount Hyjal after the War of the Ancients, grown from a seed of the Mother Tree G'Hanir. Nordrassil's roots grow deep into the earth, spreading life-giving energy across the world. It was blessed by the Dragon Aspects to grant immortality to the night elves and to allow their druids to enter the Emerald Dream. The power was unleashed after the Battle of Mount Hyjal and Nordrassil was devastated by this event. By Cataclysm Nordrassil has regrown, but 's lost blessing never returned.
Located on an island of the same name, off the coast of northern Kalimdor, the giant tree Teldrassil — which means "Crown of the Earth" — was an unsuccessful attempt by Archdruid and his compatriots to restore the night elves' immortality, lost with the near destruction of Nordrassil. Teldrassil was eventually blessed by and years later, but not by Nozdormu. It is currently the youngest of the World Trees.
Vordrassil, the "Broken Crown", originally called Andrassil, the "Crown of the Snow", was a failed attempt at a World Tree, located in the Grizzly Hills of southern Northrend. It was grown from a branch from Nordrassil taken by , in order to stop the spread of saronite in Northrend. Destroyed by the ancient druids, it is now the site of the furbolg city of Grizzlemaw. The Old God sleeps beneath its roots, and appears to have been responsible for the corruption of the furbolg. Yogg-Saron's corruption of Vordrassil was the motivation for its destruction, and it allowed the Old Gods access into the Emerald Dream, from which they created the Emerald Nightmare.
Within the Emerald Dream, Andrassil stands tall even as the Emerald Nightmare corrupts the rest of the area.
Shaladrassil is the first World Tree, situated in Val'sharah on the Broken Isles. It has been corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare and also serves as a gateway into the Emerald Dream. After the War of the Ancients, many surviving satyrs were rounded up. argued to execute them all but was overruled, and they were placed in an eternal sleep deep beneath the roots of the tree. With the return of , the satyrs have broken free.
- Shaladrassil being the first world tree contradicts Nordrassil being the original world tree, which has been previously stated.
- An early concept map for World of Warcraft depicted a world tree in the middle of Quel'Thalas. It could have been the later inspiration for Thas'alah.
The idea of a World Tree is almost certainly a reference to the World Tree of Norse mythology, Yggdrasil. Their names are similar, they both have wells underneath them: the Well of Eternity beneath Nordrassil, and the Well of Urd beneath one of the roots of Yggdrasil. Also, a dragon, Nidhoggr gnawed at the roots of Yggdrasil, which could reference back to either or . These parallels only apply to Nordrassil, the "true" World Tree, and not Teldrassil, the "false" one. The idea of a beast gnawing at the roots may have some sort of connection to Yogg-Saron and Vordrassil as well.