Guardians of Ga’hoole: A Guidebook to the Great Tree
The Great Ga'Hoole Tree stands alone on the Island of Hoole in the Sea of Hoolemere, a symbol of goodness and nobility, a place of selfless deeds and heroism. Above all, it is my home. And I love it, with my heart and my gizzard.
"Ga'Hoole" means the "Great Spirit of Hoole"—a befitting name. In the time of the legends, as Hoole and his companions approached the island, the scores of owls that followed them cried out, "The Great Ga'Hoole Tree! The Great Ga'Hoole Tree! And so the name would forever be remembered in the annals of history.
Ours is the first and largest tree of its kind. It rises hundreds of feet into the air. It would take one hundred of the largest Great Grey Owls, with their wings fully stretched, to surround the enormous trunk. Its branches reach out in every direction over the Sea of Hoolemere, giving the tree a glorious green crown in the times of the Silver Rain and Golden Rain. During the time of the Copper-Rose Rain, the leaves turn to varying shades of gold and russet.
Massive in form, and perfect in symmetry, the Great Ga'Hoole Tree can be confused with none other. Its roots reach to the farthest edges of the island. Strix Pycelle, a botanist in the time of Hoole, documented that the root of any tree beneath the Earth's surface is as big as the tree itself aboveground. Imagine, then, a mass of roots burrowing hundreds of feet deep, anchoring our home in the sky above. From a distance, the trunk and limbs of the great tree shimmer in the light of the setting sun. This is because the tree develops knobby bark in shades of brown in the times of the Golden Rain and Copper-Rose Rain, and smooth white bark in the times of White Rain and Silver Rain. New shoots have a bright red tint. All the colors, when combined with the reflections from the sea, give the great tree a scintillating presence.