Michael (Shady) Tree is a character from the 1956 Ian Fleming novel Diamonds Are Forever. In the novel, he was the link in the diamond smuggling pipeline who received the diamonds when they first arrived in America. His fate is ultimately unrevealed.

Novel biography

In the 1956 Ian Fleming novel Diamonds Are Forever, Michael (Shady) Tree is a high ranking member of the Spangled Mob crime syndicate. Operating from a building on West 46th Street, New York, Tree handles the Mob's various illegal activities such as narcotics and organized prostitution; something which is attested to by his five previous convictions for various offenses.

On his first encounter with James Bond, the mobster is described as a hunchback attired in an expensive yellow silk shirt, "with very bright red hair and a big peaceful moon-shaped face". Thinking about his peculiar physical attributes, Bond notes that the combination would be useful for keeping the "small fry" in-line through fear. Seen drinking a glass of milk, it is also hinted that the man suffers from stomach ulcers.

After sizing Bond up, Tree informs him in a sharp, high pitched voice, that he will be paid in full for his services and proceeds to explain the system of payment. He gives Bond $1000 for the diamonds as a downpayment and tells him to bet on a horse in Saratoga, Kentucky with it to redeem the rest. Bond and Felix Leiter fix the race so that it is disqualified after initially winning, causing much disruption on the pipeline. Bond then contacts Shady after the race to get his $1000 back.

Later, Shady sends Mr. Wint & Mr. Kidd to rough up the jockey, severely burning him inside a mudbath, witnessed by Bond.

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