Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

It creates a giant forest Falkreath-style in the desolated tundra of Whiterun Hold.

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Are you imaging a really, really dense forest spanning in the heart of Skyrim, with a lot of animals, undergrowth, spriggans? Unfortunately, you only have to be strictly confined to the Falkreath Hold to see it. Do you feel also that a glorious forest gives to the game the necessary epic atmosphere? If so, you have to try this mod.

This mod has been somewhat inspired by Forested Skyrim, even with substantial differences. The original uploader, Xilocient, had the brilliant idea to replace the tundra ground texture with a green one, more more suitable for a forest, created for the specific purpose. Unfortunately, he got a tree LOD issue and so he stopped developing his mod in 2012. I felt that the texture replacement was a really good idea, so I tried to develop my own mod keeping in mind it, but instead of creating new texture names (as he did), I simply replaced the tundra ones with other existing textures, keeping the same base texture names; after that, I developed the forest avoiding the tree LOD issue, and adding many undergrowth and points of interest.

This mod is intended only for peoples that love to lose themselves into a rich and dense forest. If you like open places or if you don't want to lose yourself once you left the road, so this mod is not for you. You can try this nice mod instead and see if it suits better your tastes.
If you want a less dense forest BUT still you like green lush fields instead of yellow-reddish ground, try this other nice mod instead.


* Skyrim Special Edition

Master files are Skyrim.esm, Update.esm, Dawnguard.esm, HearthFires.esm.


If you are bored to see the desolated tundra of Whiterun Hold and you love the dense forests in the Falkreath Hold, this mod is for you. It creates a giant and dense forest Falkreath-style in the tundra plains, with lush undergrowth and green grass. Now you can walk from Whiterun to Rorikstead and more immersed in the shadow of the trees, seeing a lot of ambient animals and feeling the epic atmosphere of an ancient and mysterious woodland.

Furthermore, lost in the forest there are many new points of interest with their own Map Marker, such as 3 ancient Nord ruined towers, 3 dwelling ruins, 4 clearings, and 2 groves; plus many unmarked locations, such as ruined pylons, groves, lost treasures, a shrine of Talos, hunter camps, and so on. Lot of preys and predators. Insects and nests. And spriggans, as much as you want. Indeed, leaving the road to travel across the forest can be dangerous, expecially if you don't have a good armory or if you are at the beginning of your adventures. But the curiosity will be probably rewarded: you can discover many small treasures and some nice and cosy places.

You can lose yourself into this forest. Some areas are really dense, a true wall of trees; some other areas are instead more open, and you can try to look ahead for some referring points. If you are a hunter (prey hunter, predator hunter, or spriggan hunter) surely you will enjoy this.

I didn't add green ground within the Whiterun walls because this would have brought incompatibilities with a lot of mods which edit things into the city.

Now the book "The Great Forest of Whiterun Hold" is available in many open places all around the forest, like Western Watchtower, Whitewatch Tower and so on. This book now offers an concise and lore-friendly description of the forest, explaining its historical evolution during the climate changes over the centuries, and highlights 4 of the new map markers added by this mod into the forest. Compared to the old version, this book doesn't offer Sneak skill progression anymore and it's less valuable.


This map shows the exact extension of the forest. As you can see, it spans along all the tundra region, from the Ritual Stone (the eastern border) to Bleakwind Bluff and near the Rebel's Cairn (the western border).

The "green fields" are those areas that were made green but not covered by the forest. Sunny, windy zones with plenty of green lush grass and with green and yellow shrubs all around.

The densest area is on the western side of the forest, between the Swindler's Den, the Sleeping Tree Camp, Rorikstead and the Talking Stone Camp.


  • Stay away from the tundra region before installing;
  • Make a strong back-up save (this is always true before trying new mods);
  • Copy my .esp and my .bsa files into Skyrim's Data folder.

Since WhiterunHoldForest.esp is now esm-ized, it should be loaded near the top of your mod list, below USSEP.

The Level 32 texture package is available as optional download. Indeed, it's a good idea to download (one of) them, so when opening your ingame Map you can see the green floor in the forest area, instead of the yellow-brownish tundra ground.

To really enjoy the whole forest extension from high points of view, I'd suggest you to set "fTreeLoadDistance" to at least 150000.0000 in your SkyrimPrefs.ini under [TerrainManager].

To uninstall:
  • Stay away from tundra region before uninstalling;
  • Delete WhiterunHoldForest.esp and WhiterunHoldForest.bsa from Skyrim's Data folder.


  • Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch is strongly suggested and The Great Forest of Whiterun Hold is fully compatible with it.
  • I strongly suggest you to use also Birds of Skyrim (by Qasiermo), to increase immersion.
  • If you like also camping, I suggest Campfire. Camping in this forest can be fashinating.

To have green grass within the Whiterun walls too, I suggest you one of the following mods:

Mods used in the screenshots: Dolomite Weathers, Darker Nights and its patch for Dolomite Weathers.


This mod is incompatible with any mod that alters the tundra region, often even in a light way, like any other tundra "forestation" project. Some minor issues do occur also with mods that edit the weather region system, like Dolomite Weathers (a patch is available also for this mod, see below).

For a complete collection of patches, see The Great Forest of Whiterun Hold - Patch collection, made by cortex56.

If you're using more mods that bring their own tree LOD on Skyrim worldspace, there might be some tree LOD issues that could mess up your far landscape, with odd yellow-orange Rift tree and snow pine LOD spread across all Skyrim. Same does happen if you are using mods with custom tree assets. To fix this, you only need to load all those conflicting mods on SSELODGen and build your own tree LOD (and get the right billboards for any custom pine tree). This fixes your issues because it will recreate the proper tree LOD, making these mods working fine together.

TES5Edit cleaned.


Q: Why version 2.x only for SE and not for LE?
A: Because this mod is based on the new version of Update.esm file, which brings a lot of red-orange tundra undergrowth spread across the tundra, that had to be replaced one by one with pine shrubs and vine maples. Furthermore, I'm not using LE anymore except for its CK.

Q: Now that this mod is esm-ized and the load order changed, do I have to start a new game?
A: No, definitely no! Those saying that you must start a new game everytime you change the load order are nothing but urban legends, and this is expecially true when these mods don't bring any new quests. Starting a new game might be needed only in very rare case when a new version brings heavy changements to heavy scripted quests that can break already started quests included into the mod itself, and anyway this would be clearly stated by the author on the mod's page. The Great Forest of Whiterun Hold doesn't include any quest at all and so is totally script-free. So don't worry and enjoy the new update.

Q: Is this lore-friendly?
A: Depends on what you intend for "lore-friendly". Since there are not strange things or new items/textures, and since the forest has been created having in mind the Falkreath region, it could be consider as "lore-friendly", meaning that you won't lose the immersion. However, from a rare NPC's dialogue you can hear about a tundra plain near Whiterun, even if its extension or its temporal existence is not specified. This can be the only "critical" point, but it's shared with every other tundra "forestation" project. There are anyway, some thumbs up in favor of having a forest in Skyrim's heart.
* Anoriath at the Whiterun market can be often heard answering Nazeem's provocations with: "Suit yourself, then. The woods are that way. Outside the walls, walk straight ahead. Can't miss them. Good luck on your hunt." This is the most immersive thing about having a forest "right in front of" the Whiterun walls. Actually, it seems unimmersive hearing this answer if you only have a tundra nearby.
* I made available a book which explains the history of the Whiterun plains; this book is kept as much lore-friendly as possible (a few facts cited on UESP are included) and the existence of a tundra sometime in the past is argued (this is useful also to justify the lore book "Ode to the Tundrastriders" (which is "anonymous" and written in the far past - ESO has the same book in the 2nd era). You can find many copies in various locations inside the forest.
* In real world, a tundra region can't have a snowy forest to the north. The tundra biome is the last step before the perennial glaciers, so it is really odd that a tundra region like the Skyrim's one is bordered to the north by a forested snowy mountain.

Q: The forest is too dense for my taste. Can you make a deforestation in some areas?
A. As written above, this mod is intended only for peoples who love to lose themselves into the forest. So, please forgive me if I have to decline your request. Anyway, you can indeed try the very nice mods Whiterun Forest Borealis or Alpine Forest of Whiterun Valley, both by kojak747, for a less dense forest.

Q: Can you add some dungeons into the forest?
A: The aim of this mod is just to create a forest with only simple open places. Anyway, I don't reject this proposal at all.

Q: Any performance loss?
A: May be. Dipends. There are no new textures or items, just vanilla ones sorted and arranged to build the forest. But some areas (not all the forest) are really dense. Anyway, there are other Vanilla places that are heavyer to render, I found it. This mod will probably increase the total amount of VRAM usage.

Q: Do you plan to add this *random* furniture/showcase/other?
A: Depends. I'm open to any suggestion, but I will address only ideas that make sense and are suitable for the ratio of this mod. And, of course, if I'm able to address them! Anyway, I will wait for more than one lone idea, before updating.


The .esp file contains over 34000 new/edited objects, included trees, shrubs, rocks, flora and fauna.
The .bsa file contains all the new tree and ground LODs.
Despite its massive edit, this mod doesn't reduce your FPS in a significant way. You might expect a very small drop only in the densest area near Rorikstead (still over 60 FPS with a GTX 1060 6GB).


A new small cottage is available in the forest near Rorikstead. You will find the gate's key in a nearby ruined pylons area, just at the opposite side of the road. A spriggan is watching on this area. The key lies at the top of a destroyed pylon, at the center of the area.

This mod is somewhat inspired on Xilocient mod Forested Skyrim, even with many substantial differences.
Special thanks to cortex56 for the very useful patch collection.

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| | Nexus Exclusive Mod -- Do NOT upload this file to other sites.                                                                                | |
| | This mod is intended only for FREE distribution.                                                                                                               | |
| | Any changes or use of content of this mod will require my permission.                                                                  | |
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