The prime axis mundi of the Earth are the giant old sentinel trees, those ancient baobab trees. They can live more than 3,000 years and have seen history. These trees have witnessed the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Industrial revolution, two World Wars, rise in technology and Space Age. Now within thirteen years, about nine of those ancient and wise baobab trees have perished. Science can't explain why this has been happening although many have said it's caused by climate change. Well why?
Baobab trees are found in Africa and other parts of the world, which is our world's own Weirwood counterparts. Weirwoods are ancient white giant trees found in the ongoing saga "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels. Baobabs and other trees like oaks, redwoods and ash are connected to the cosmic giant trees, like Yggdrasil.
The weirwoods contain magic and vast networks of caves beneath the soil, tunnelled by roots. The trees came under attack with the arrival of the Andals (invaders from far away, Essos, meaning "East continent"). This caused the Children of the Forest to carve faces in the trees and the oldest trees all have faces. The mythology of being watched by trees is like a connection server, the weirwoods the computer hardware, the roots all the cables. Children of the Forest are agents who operate in the dark and in hiding. Symbolically, they're the guardians of the natural world, protecting their soil and trees against humans. When the original wave of invaders arrived before the Andals, they were called the First Men, who threatened the Children of the Forest and caused a war, resulting in climatic disasters, called The Long Night where Winter lasts years. As this occurred, another danger appeared to threaten humans, the Others, a horde of supernatural creatures and undead armies.
This is a story of our own historic past, told in a parallel. The First Men, who obviously were the early human settlers, encountered the Neanderthal species and their great animals. The Long Night is like our own Ice Age era on a grand scale. Climate change, global warming, and threats of another ice age and collision from space is always going to be there in our news and stories.
The Doom of Valyria is perhaps a slightly different event that happened in Essos, but the Valyrian freehold was always remembered for it's beauty and magnificent wonder. Such a place can't be explored as it rests in constant disasters and no one can survive it. While such a place happened in our legends called Atlantis, there is a similar location on our world that is also hostile like Old Valyria and this would be the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
Reading into the books, weirwoods and their magic, as northerners still pray to them as their Old Gods kind of explains how baobabs are dying at the moment: Because of Climate change. It's always that isn't it?
I hope you enjoyed my post even though I went deep into George R. R. Martin's works of fiction to talk about the ancient trees in Africa.