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As part of the quest line The Blessings of Nature I have acquired a specialist weapon by the name of Nettlebane that I am supposed to use to chop through the roots of the Eldergleam tree to obtain some sap.

In typical fashion it turns out there are people inside the tree's sanctuary area, who make various comments about how beautiful and awesome it is, and so on.

This makes me suspect there is some alternative way for me to complete this quest that doesn't require me to hack apart the tree. Is there? And if so, what is it?

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4 Answers 4

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There is!

During the quest, you should've run into Maurice Jondrelle, who asks to come with you. If you accepted his offer, he'll want to pray in front of the tree as an alternative to harming the tree.

When he does this, a sapling will grow which you can then take back to Danica to complete the quest.

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  • You will still incur the wrath of the worshippers however, as you have to cut the roots to get to the tree.
    – BEYOWULF
    Nov 16, 2011 at 4:47
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    @BEYOWULF You don't incur the wrath of the worshippers if you just cut the roots but don't activate the tree with Nettlebane. I even cut some more roots after getting the sapling and everything was still fine.
    – agf
    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:40
  • OK, I haven't run in to Maurice Jondrelle - or at least I don't recall anyone asking if they can come with me and I've been in and out of Whiterun lots of times since getting the quest. So where would I find him?
    – DMA57361
    Nov 16, 2011 at 11:22
  • @DMA57361 He should've approached you after talking to Danica (the Wikia confirms this): have you checked the temple?
    – user3389
    Nov 16, 2011 at 15:56
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    Just did this quest last night, on my way to the sanctuary, Maurice got killed by a dragon. Very sad, he just wanted to look at a tree. Nov 16, 2011 at 16:43
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As others have mentionned, escort Maurice Jondrelle to the Eldergleam Sanctuary. Once at the tree's root, let him pray and return the tree sapling to the Temple of Kynareth.

However be aware that if you use Maurice's suggestion you'll end up with a small tree clipping through the larger, old tree. I'm surprised nobody ever mentions this bug:

Gildergreen tree bug

This wasn't fixed as of patch 1.3.

After applying a fix through the console (using the markfordelete command), you get this little tree:

Gildergeen small tree

So keep this in mind, the "non violent" approach has no benefits that I can think of, and gives you a much less exciting Gildergreen tree, while also giving you less opportunity for skill upgrades through the Spriggan fight.

Who knows... maybe it takes a lot longer and then eventually it will become the bigger version that can be seen on the loading screen?

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  • I see the tree on the loading screen and I used the knife, so i doubt you get that :)
    – user16223
    Dec 15, 2011 at 21:54
  • You use Nettlebane to open the path to the tree. Once there, if you accept Maurice Jondrelle's suggestion, you do not "hurt" the tree and return to Whiterun with a tree sapling. But thanks for congratulating me on my awesome Photoshop skills :p ps: Editing post to make it clearer. Dec 16, 2011 at 15:01
  • Btw do NOT use the console command! This bug was fixed by the unofficial skyrim patches (ie. the small tree grows), and otherwise this mod fixed the problem. Nov 7, 2014 at 14:28
  • Well, I think this quest boils down to roleplay, rather than actual benefits. Dec 30, 2016 at 14:53
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There is. Return to Whiterun (where you picked up the quest, after acquiring Nettlebane) and some guy will approach you and ask you to escort him to the Eldergleam. Once in Eldergleam, he will basically stop you from doing it and will give you an alternate solution.

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Once there, you have to start hacking away at the roots with Nettlebane equipped and after a few chops Maurice will stop you and offer to show you a better way.

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