The trees are not unguarded.
I was chopping wood when one of the larger nearby trees stood up and came at me, wooden claws unsheathed. Rather than stand my ground I chose the better part of valor and ran. Unfortunately it pursued me. I ended up trapped far from my base camp with night approaching.
Huddling in the night with a torch is not something I relish in this cursed wilderness but sometimes it must be done. Unfortunately the night did not quell the guardian's wrath and it continued its slow, plodding pursuit of me. But I had an idea. I began planting every pine cone I had in my possession, speaking to each one as I did so. I would have felt silly had the guardian not walked up to me and stood as if waiting. I continued in my pagan offering until the guardian was apparently satisfied and settled back down. I swear to all I hold dear, the guardian looked exactly like a normal tree, albeit a large one.
I admit I did not return that way for a day before I managed