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How to Beat Ulcerated Tree Spirits in "Elden Ring"

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

Massive, loathsome, serpentine beasts that defy easy explanation, Ulcerated Tree Spirits are abnormal even among the other strange denizens of Elden Ring. Wriggling about the landscape in an angry attempt to both flatten and eat you, Ulcerated Tree Spirits are about as far removed from the quiet, peaceful Erdtrees as possible.

This guide will help you take down an Ulcerated Tree Spirit in Elden Ring. They're a little easier to beat than they look, though the fight is guaranteed to be very, very confusing.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

Finding Ulcerated Tree Spirits

There are (as far as this writer can tell) five Ulcerated Tree Spirits in Elden Ring, and only two of them count as boss battles. They're found in the following locations:

  • The first Tree Spirit you can come across is very early in the game. Jump to the Stranded Graveyard Site of Grace in Limgrave - yes, that early - and there will be a fog barrier on your right that you can dispel with a Stonesword Key. This leads into the Fringefolk Hero's Grave, a small dungeon with a lot of ramps and a persistent, deadly chariot chasing you around. The Ulcerated Tree Spirit is waiting at the bottom. You'll earn a Golden Seed and the Banished Knight Oleg Ashes for defeating it.
  • The second Tree Spirit is in Stormveil Castle. Proceed to the Liftside Chamber Site of Grace, then go outside and take two rights. You'll be staring at a corpse and what looks like a fatal drop. Fall down the drop to discover that it's not so fatal, then use the buttress and wooden platforms further below to keep descending. Once you're on the ground you'll face a small contingent of rats, and beyond them is the battle arena for the Tree Spirit. It drops a Golden Seed when defeated.
  • The third Tree Spirit you'll likely meet is on Mt. Gelmir, waiting at the base of the area's Minor Erdtree. To reach it you'll need to head west into the Mt. Gelmir region from the Altus Plateau, go up and over the mountains, ascend to the battleground of the Fully-Grown Fallingstar Beast, leap down from the obvious rock that's jutting out of the side of the arena, and gain access to the grounds of Volcano Manor. There's an upper road here, leading to the Manor, and a lower road, which leads to the Erdtree. This Ulcerated Tree Spirit counts as a boss, and will drop a Leaden Hardtear and a Cerulean Hidden Tear when defeated.
  • The fourth Tree Spirit is in the Capital Outskirts, up the huge set of stairs that lead from the Altus Plateau. From the Outer Wall Phantom Tree Site of Grace you'll want to look south. There's a small military encampment nearby, and when you approach an Ulcerated Tree Spirit will appear, flatten the camp, and attack you. Defeating this Ulcerated Tree Spirit will earn you a Golden Seed.
  • The final Tree Spirit is in Leyndell, Royal Capital. If you jump to the Avenue Balcony Site of Grace and explore the northeast of the city you'll find an area filled with zombie-like monsters patrolling older, more burnt-out and destroyed homes. There's a large sand-filled area here where you'll run into an Ulcerated Tree Spirit. You'll earn a Golden Seed for winning the fight.

Ulcerated Tree Spirit's Moveset

Ulcerated Tree Spirits are wriggling masses that move all over the place, and it can be difficult to tell what they're doing at any given time. Still, they have a few telltale attacks. You can expect to see the following moves when fighting an Ulcerated Tree Spirit:

  • The Tree Spirit will rush at you. No big surprise there. Roll out of the way as its jaws are coming towards you. It has a variant of this attack where it will begin to spew yellow energy at you during its approach, though how you deal with it is basically the same.
  • The Tree Spirit will roar, raise its head, twirl around a bit, then rush at you and try to pick you up in its mouth. This is a deadly attack at lower levels, so get well away from its maw if you hear that roar.
  • The Tree Spirit will swipe at you with its claws, one at a time. Get close enough during the first swipe and you shouldn't have any trouble avoiding the second.
  • The Tree Spirit will try to pound you down with its nearest available claw. If the claw rises into the air the Tree Spirit is likely about to bring it down on your head.
  • The Tree Spirit will whirl around, then spin back and swipe its tail at you. There's so much movement involved that it can be tough to see this one coming, so it's safe to assume that if the Tree Spirit is moving its tail is going to hurt you. Roll to avoid the sudden movement.
  • The Tree Spirit will try to pound you into the ground with its face. Once its head rises, roll out of the way to avoid being flattened. The Tree Spirit can do this multiple times in succession if you don't move. You shouldn't see this attack unless you're in front of the Tree Spirit, however.
  • The Tree Spirit will spew golden flames. Unless you're already in front of the Tree Spirit you likely won't get hit by this attack.
  • At half health the Tree Spirit's body will be covered in golden flame, and it will pause. After a few moments this flame will explode outward as an area of effect attack. Roll out of the way before the explosion.

Beating an Ulcerated Tree Spirit

Because battles against these things can become so chaotic, it's difficult to suggest any one strategy. For the most part, however, your options are pretty simple:

  • If you're a melee brawler then you'll want to get in close to the Tree Spirit and hack away at its sides. Only let up if you see the Tree Spirit starting to move. When in doubt, roll. You'll avoid a lot of attacks you'd otherwise not notice. Don't worry, you'll get plenty of opportunities to hack at the Tree Spirit's hide while it's flailing around.
  • Ranged attackers will have an easier time seeing the Tree Spirit's attacks coming, as you'll likely keep further away. The key here is to avoid facing the Tree Spirit head on. Stick to its sides and fire off projectiles whenever you get the chance. Move once the Tree Spirit starts to home in on you. Fighting at a range is easier if you have access to your horse, though this isn't always possible.

In either case, summoned allies are highly recommended for two reasons. First, they will keep the Tree Spirit distracted, and second, they will help you stagger the Tree Spirit. For whatever reason Tree Spirits seem to stagger pretty easily, and the sheer number of attacks you and your allies can rain down on one will make the battle much shorter.

You'll earn different rewards for defeating each Ulcerated Tree Spirit, though all but one of them give you a Golden Seed. Not bad.