My partner in the Lord of the Rings swap asked for a wall hanging, and I found something I absolutely had to make, a tree of Gondor I had seen in a small thumbnail on a page called "One skein to rule them all" http://community.livejournal.com/lotr_knits/
I think it had started with falling in love with this post: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=227010.0
So I sketched something very roughly (and not too useful as it turned out), and just started! I altered the pattern all the time, because I didn't foresee all the twists I needed with the branches. I ended up sketching a more detailed pattern which I didn't exactly follow, but it came close enough to show me where to branch out. I ran in to other troubles as well, being too impatient to look up the leave pattern I know existed, I just cabled the leaves, same with the stars.
I must have knit every row at least three times. I am not the most patient knitter, but this time, I just enjoyed every minute I spent on it! I even decided on adding the stars because I had such a hard time stopping to knit this!
As my partner has received now, I can finally post it, my most favourite project of this year, the Tree of Gondor in cream colored wool:
Detail of roots, you can see where I changed my mind about intertwining the stem.
The deeper, steeper roots were done by cabling over one neighboring stitch, the the roots nearer to the surface, the less steeper ones, were done cabling over two neighboring stitches. Every row was cabled, including the back rows.
The part that almost drove me nuts: braching out and getting right the angles of the branches.
The cabling mechanisms were the same: covering one or two neighboring stitches, depending on the direction the branch was supposed to go. I needed leaves in different sizes to fit in between the branches, I would try to get even sized leaves next time. I also cabled some tiny blossoms on the bottom branches, but they are nearly invisible. The easiest solution for those would be to sew on some textile flowers in cream white, or pearls.
I am planning on making more Tree of Gondor projects, but next time, I will knit in the round, making a bag, so I can always see the round I am cabling. If I had had a pattern that worked, I wouldn't have minded cabling backwards that much, but if you are trying to figure out what you are doing while you don't see it... I did a lot of turning and checking, and while it was not hard to do, it was time-consuming.
Sorry that I can't provide a decent pattern, the one I used wasn't so useful. Maybe the detail shots can help you understand how it was done.