The immortal... There was no place for Humans in his scheme of life!"This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit" was the 47th issue of Gold Key Comics' 1967 ongoing series of Star Trek comics, written by George Kashdan & Doug Drexler and illustrated by Alden McWilliams.


On course to New Paris colony, three plant-like pods were detected near the Enterprise, registering on Mister Spock's sensors as lifeforms of pure energy and considerable intelligence. When Captain James T. Kirk ordered investigation, the pods ignored communications hailing frequencies. When Kirk ordered Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu to pilot the ship closer, an energy discharge from the pods shut down all shipboard power. Scotty's engineering station reported damage to circuitry. The pods restored the ships power only after distancing themselves. The pods changed course to Beta Niobe III, and Kirk ordered the ship to follow. In order to safeguard the technologically-advanced civilization on that planet, a landing party of Kirk, Spock and Doctor Leonard McCoy beamed down. Three humanoid-shaped beings made of energy emerged from the pods, disintegrating everything in their path as they moved about. McCoy asserted the lifeforms were using osmosis to process the vaporized material. Kirk fired a phaser stun at one of the beings, but it destroyed his phaser pistol. The beings fed for a while, but did not kill any inhabitants or harm their dwellings, and quickly departed for space.

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Pavel ChekovJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraZhyophaunnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel)

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Beta Niobe III (Beta Niobe star system; the galaxy's Alpha or Beta Quadrants) • uncharted planetoids (Gamma Cygnet region)
Referenced only 
Memory AlphaNew Paris colony (New Paris)

Races and culturesEdit

HumanVulcanspace beings
Referenced only 

Science and technologyEdit

computercircuitengineeringengineering stationevolutionhailing frequencyintercomosmosisphaserphaser pistolpistolsensorSestra phaser IIspacecraftstarshiptechnologytimetransportertricordertype-2 phaser

States and organizationsEdit

FederationStarfleet (command divisionoperations divisionsciences division) • Starfleet Command

Ranks and titlesEdit

captainchief engineerchief medical officercommandercommanding officercommunications officerdoctorpilotengineerensignFederation Starfleet ranksFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)first officerhelmsmanhorticulturistlieutenantlieutenant commandermedical practitionernavigatorofficerscience officermistertactical officerweapons officer

Other referencesEdit

alienanatomyatmospherebeamcaptain's logclothingcommand chaircommunicationscommunicatorconnenergyUSS Enterprise personnelfive-year missionhelmhumanoidlifeformlog entrymattermedicinenavigationplantplanetquadrantraces and culturesranksaucer sectionspacesecondary hullsharkstarstar systemstardateStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)stuntitleTree of Lifeuniformuniversewarp driveweapon


stardate 67:32.4, 2269 (2260s chronology, 2264–2270 Enterprise voyages
Enterprise changes course for Beta Niobe.



  • The Enterprise's visit to a planet in the Beta Niobe system indicates this story takes place prior to the supernova of that star in this same year, 2269, as depicted in TOS episode: "All Our Yesterdays".
  • Zhyopha claims to be an immortal Human who has been growing the space beings' tree for eons, but it is not clear if he was actually that long-lived. Immortals such as Flint or Morgan Primus have been documented as having a similar ability in other sources.
  • A tree’s height is limited by the laws of physics affecting how water moves from the trunk to the leaves. The tallest living tree on Earth is a 379 foot-tall redwood. (Tree Heights) To be hundreds of miles tall, the Tree of Life’s biology must have been more complex than that of a normal tree, or its appearance augmented by illusion or projection.
  • Co-author Doug Drexler described his volunteer contributions to this story as a script polish and edit, including adding callbacks to the Metrons and Organians. Gold Key Comics’ offices were near the Federation Trading Post where Drexler worked at that time in New York City. He also provided the creative team with reference materials. (Drawing Trek Podcast, Episode 33, 29:30-44:00)

Related StoriesEdit



Published Order
Previous comic:
"Mr. Oracle"
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
"Sweet Smell of Evil"
Previous story:
"The Mimicking Menace"
Stories by:
George Kashdan
Next story:
"A Warp in Space"
Previous story:
Star Trek Poster Books
magazine series
Stories by:
Doug Drexler
Next story:
"Sweet Smell of Evil"
Gold Key Comic
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
"All of Me"
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
"The Patrian Transgression"

External linksEdit

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