They first appeared in Mortal Kombat II in the Living Forest level, where they occasionally roared. This background also appeared in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and as a 3D arena in Mortal Kombat 4, Mortal Kombat Gold, and Mortal Kombat: Deception. Deception's Konquest mode allowed the player to venture into a forest of Living Trees, though the player could not interact with them.Two interactive versions of the trees appeared in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. The first version was much like the trees-with-faces design found in the earlier games, though it was capable of being fed enemies. The second version were more anthropomorphic, capable of grabbing characters and NPCs and throwing them around. The ability for the Living Trees to eat enemies was added as a response to a long-standing rumor dating back to Mortal Kombat II that said the trees were involved in a stage fatality doing just that.
The Living Trees reappear in Mortal Kombat (2011). If a Stage Fatality is performed, the victim will be thrown in the mouth of one of the Living Trees, which will then chew the opponent repeatedly before the legs break off.