I never have understood why people find forests and dark clusters of trees so uninviting. I find them awe-inspiring. They present moods, whether dark and thoughtful or those thickets where splotches of light filter through the branches and create patterns on the ground. They cover a passerby from the rain, or let large drops of water sprinkle melodically through their leaves. Being in a forest of trees during a rainstorm is like watching a dance. The leaves rustle, the boughs sway, the rain falls. Even music sounds from the drip, the drop, the plucking of a spiderweb's threads.
In my book, the trees are meaningful. They are not just a piece of background. Lesylia often "goes down" into the grove of trees. But they simply aren't a way for me to create a mood, or establish a setting. They stand for change, whether good or bad. The trees stand as barriers between her and other forms of herself, other realities she becomes as she experiences... well... her life. She passes through a grove of trees in the very first chapter, in the prologue actually, and experiences the first tragedy of her life. Nearly ten years later, she again walks through a forest and discovers the truth, whether she wanted to or not. She is faced with choices and she walks in the woods to make up her mind. And even in one of the final chapters, she runs through a thicket in the middle of a rainstorm to fulfill her destiny, to nearly confront her own death. Yes, the trees are significant things.
I find it no coincidence that they are pointed upward, upward to the heavens. And yes, all plants do this, but the trees always seem to get the highest. Just a bit of insight. Take what you want from it.