- "It must have grown up silently, yet swiftly as a flag rises when you pull it up on a flagstaff, while they were all busied about the coronation. Its spreading branches seemed to cast a light rather than a shade, and silver apples peeped out like stars from under every leaf. But it was the smell which came from it, even more than the sight, that had made everyone draw in their breath. For a moment one could hardly think about anything else."
The Tree of Protection was a beautiful magical tree that bore silver apples. It was planted in the Lantern Waste by Digory Kirke, during the early days of the creation of Narnia; it was the direct offspring of the Tree of Youth.
After Jadis, the White Witch, fled to the north, Aslan bade Digory to go collect one of the Silver Apples from the Tree of Youth, and plant it in the river bank, where the ground was softest at the time, so that it could grow into a great tree, to protect Narnia from Jadis and her evil.
The Tree itself did not have the power to repel Jadis, but rather, she despised its fruit to such an extent (after having wrongfully eaten the same fruit from the Tree of Youth) that she could not be within a hundred miles of that Tree, or any other related one. Aslan himself described the smell of the fruit as "joy and life and health" to all good Narnians, but "death and horror and despair" to Jadis.
The Tree did as it was meant to, by protecting Narnia for up to nine hundred years, keeping Jadis out during all that time. Unfortunately, the Tree was eventually destroyed by some unknown cause. No mention is made of how it was destroyed, as some say it simply fell down during a great storm, while others believe Jadis herself was somehow able to dispose of it.
After the death of this tree, there were no more Silver Apples in Narnia, and without them Jadis was able to finally return, to conquer Narnia and impose the Long Winter (she started her Winter Age to prevent any further magical trees from being grown).
- Though the Tree of Protection refers singularly to the tree planted on the banks of the Great River in Lantern Waste, there were at least three other trees that were directly related to that tree. The first was the Tree of Protection’s parent, the Tree of Youth, found in the centre of the hilltop garden in the Western Wild at the Dawn of Time. This is the tree that Aslan sent Digory to pluck an apple from, and bring it back to Narnia to plant the Tree of Protection.
- The second Tree was the tree planted in London, England, which was a direct offspring of the actual Tree of Protection, having grown from the planted core of a magic apple from that Tree. This tree, being in our world and far from the air of Narnia, was not entirely magic. It looked the same as a regular apple tree, only that it bore apples more beautiful than any others in England, and they were extremely good for one. However, deep within that tree, in its very sap, it was still connected to its parent in Narnia; in fact, it would even tremble and move by itself when there were large winds blowing on the Tree of Protection.
- Eventually, the tree in London fell during a great storm. This is probably paralleled by the death of its parent in Narnia, thereby making way for the return of Jadis. Digory (now a famous learned man, a great traveller, and a middle-aged professor) had its wood made into a Wardrobe, which would later be found by Lucy Pevensie to be a portal into Narnia.
- There is some notable similarity to the biblical Tree of Life. Both could grant everlasting life (to some extent) to those who partook of its fruits rightfully, and both were planted in a sacred garden at the dawn of their respective worlds. One was guarded by a fiery bird, while the other was guarded by a fiery sword.