The White Tree of Gondor
The White Tree of Gondor was the symbol of the realm of Gondor. While there were several trees referred to as the “White Tree,” the best-known of these grew in the Court of the Fountain at Minas Tirith. The White Tree was also the motif of Gondor’s flag.
First White Tree
The first White Tree of Gondor came from a fruit that Isildur, at great personal risk, managed to steal from Nimloththe Fair, the White Tree of Númenor, before that one was destroyed at Sauron’s insistence. He suffered many wounds at this mission, and he came near death, but when the first leaf opened in the spring, Isildur was healed of his wounds.
Second White Tree
In the T.A. 2, Isildur planted the seedling of the White Tree in Minas Anor in memory of his brother, Anárion. This White Tree lasted until T.A. 1636, when the Great Plague hit Gondor, killing among many others King Telemnar and his children.
Third White Tree
A third sapling was planted in T.A. 1640 by King Tarondor and died in T.A. 2872 with the death of the Ruling Steward Belecthor II. Since no seedling was found, it was left standing after its death. When eventually replaced in T.A. 3019, it was placed in the Tombs of the Kings with royal honors.
Fourth White Tree
When Aragorn became king he discovered a sapling of the White Tree upon the slopes of Mindolluin, high above the city, which he reverently planted in its place. The return of the White Tree to Minas Tirith proves that Aragorn has restored Gondor’s former glory as the home of the Men of Númenor. Sauron, a servant of the original Great Enemy who destroyed the Two Trees in Valinor, has been driven permanently from Middle-earth.
The White Tree of Gondor stood as a symbol of Gondor in the Court of the Fountain in Minas Tirith. Pippin comments on how the tree is dead. It signifies the nonexistance of a true King of Gondor.