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Trees A Crowd

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/ Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/ Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Ever wondered what happens when you fill a cello with bees? Or how robins have successfully colonised the outer-reaches of our universe? Or why the world is destined to be populated purely by female turtles? This podcast celebrates nature and the stories of those who care deeply for it. Join artist, actor and Woodland Trust & Wildlife Trusts ambassador David Oakes, for a series of informal, relaxed conversations with artists, scientists, creatives and environmentalists as they celebrate the beauty of the natural world and how it inspires us as human beings. All episodes available at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/ Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Buckthorns: Fire, brimstones and the invasive aliens hiding in a pig's bladder

8/3/2021
Our twenty-ninth tree, Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), and our thirtieth tree, Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) - The BUCKTHORNS of the Rhamnaceae. Their unripe berries made paint pigment that was stored in a pig’s bladder, their charcoal made gunpowder that has defined a society and their toxic seeds have made humans purge their bowels making countless regretful foragers! Our Buckthorns are an easily ignorable shrub that have left an indelible mark upon humankind. (Special thanks to...

Duration:00:16:25

Rowan: All hail the Witchwood; the high-flying hero of Thor & dairy-maids!

7/27/2021
Our twenty-eigth tree, the Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia). One of the most elegant and tasteful (not to mention tasty - to birds) trees that you can find throughout the British Isles. It has been worshipped by Pagans and Christians alike for its spiritual power and symbolism. It repels witches, frustrates adders, arouses dairymaids, seduces birds and stops Norse Thunder-gods from drowning in piss. This is the “bird-catcher”, "tank-destroyer" and “human-fascinator”; a tree revered for centuries; a...

Duration:00:16:02

Wild Service: A checkered past spent pizzled with politicians & ancient french knights

7/20/2021
Our twenty-seventh tree, the Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis). Colourful, mysterious and increasingly rare, the Wild Service represents a midway point - not only between the Rowan and the Whitebeam, but between what our forests look like, and what our forests looked like. They’re associated with Olde English Taverns and with ancient Roman drinking sessions, with medieval French jousting, and so abundantly slathered in folk names that it’s a travesty their current common name is so...

Duration:00:15:59

Whitebeam: The gorge-ous (geeky) sub-science behind our mighty 'Plant Elephants'

7/13/2021
Our twenty-sixth tree, the Whitebeam (Sorbus aria). What the stately and elegant Whitebeam lacks in folklore, it makes up for with its proclivity to cross-pollinate and hybridise. David heads out into the wild, to Cheddar Gorge - the location of a very rare, and only recently discovered sub-species of the Whitebeam - to discuss the way in which species evolve from one to another, and to dig a little deeper into the confusingly murky waters of taxonomical nomenclature. The German forester,...

Duration:00:09:49

The Hawthorns: May Fairies protect your Midland bush against any Common Haws

7/6/2021
Our twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth trees are the Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) & the Midland Thorn (Crataegus laevigata). Once David stops blathering about the ‘Holy Thorn’ - a fascinating twice-flowering genetic variant of the Hawthorn that has inspired pilgrimages and postal stamps - he’ll tell you why one Hawthorn is far more prevalent than the other (despite the opposite originally being true), how superstitious the Irish are about their bushes, and why Shakespeare May or May not...

Duration:00:15:31

Crab Apple: 'A' is for sin, cider, gravity and pip-popping Auroch-pat parties

6/29/2021
Our twenty-third tree is the Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris) - the ‘Forest apple’. The apple is perhaps our most important fruit from a cultural perspective, but it would be NOTHING without its little crab parent. They made Shakespeare sexy, they made the Norse Gods immortal, and without the Crabs our nation’s biodiversity would be missing a massively integral player. This week David talks Auroch poop, Celtic party games and the origins of the apple’s “Englishness”. (Many thanks to Adam Sopp...

Duration:00:15:32

Wild Pears: Infanticide, scampi & Barbarossa’s bloody bearded pear conference

6/22/2021
Our twenty-second tree, the Wild Pear (Pyrus pyraster)… or to be more precise, this is an episode exploring the three Wild Pears that you my find growing wild on the British Isles: the aforementioned Wild Pear, the European Pear (Pyrus communis) and the Plymouth Pear (Pyrus cordata). Currently, the thinking is that none of these three trees are strictly native, but doing an episode on pears gives me an excuse to discuss Grecian infanticide and matricide, Shakespearean euphemisms for ‘a...

Duration:00:15:43

The Cherries: Drupes adored by birds; blossom revered by Kamikaze suicide pilots

6/15/2021
Our twentieth and twenty-first trees, the Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) and the Bird Cherry (Prunus padus). Yes, you knew cherries are tasty, but did you know they’re so delectable that they have their own bodyguards? Yes, you know about the Japanese cherry blossom front, but did you also know that cherry blossom adorned the fuselage of kamikaze pilots? And, yes, you obviously knew that Henry the VIII loved his food, but did you know he loved his cherries so much that he put a bounty on the...

Duration:00:19:25

Blackthorn: Burgeoning with Booze, Black Magic and Butcher Birds

6/8/2021
Our nineteenth tree, Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). As one of the first trees of our Rose family (the Rosaceae), this tree - when it blossoms in early February - is unsurprisingly beautiful to behold! But beneath the blossom lies black magic, butchery, even beastiality, and lots and lots of sloe-based boooooze! Brimming with folklore and mystery, and a home to birds that unfortunately have a second home upon the IUCN Red List, this hardy tree is a vital member of the British landscape and...

Duration:00:11:31

Richard Nairn: One man & his 'meitheal' replanting the ancient Wild Woods of Ireland

6/4/2021
Richard Nairn is an environmental scientist and naturalist with a lifetime of experience in applied ecology, conservation and learning from the wild world around him. Having recently purchased a piece of ancient native woodland in County Wicklow, Ireland, here Richard shares the lessons these woods have taught him. From the importance of woodland management, to the vitality deriving from a community’s support (or ‘Meithal’ in Gaelic). These woodlands have proved a bottomless source of...

Duration:00:46:21

White & Grey Poplars: Twelve labours of Heracles, vs. Two non-native Poplars

6/1/2021
Our seventeenth and eighteenth trees, the White (Populus alba) and Grey (Populus x canescens) Poplars. As our two native Poplars - the Black and the Aspen - are becoming increasingly rare on the British Isles, I’ve treated myself to a couple of bonus trees that are relatively common here, but not strictly native species - for, as I'm sure you're all well aware: “Once you Poplar, you can’t Stop-lar...” Anyway... The White Poplar (non-native) is steeped in European Myth and Legend, which gives...

Duration:00:09:18

Aspen: The tremulous beauty & ‘beaver-bonds’ of our immortal Quaking Poplar

5/25/2021
Our sixteenth tree, the Aspen (Populus tremula) is a gentle giant. Beautiful long leaf stalks keep the foliage fluttering in the wind and folklore galore alive in our jaw; whilst a secret that lies beneath the soil means these trees one day might dominate the globe (sort of… their cousin is the largest organism on the planet!) And, despite LOVING beaver (sorry), they reproduce in a highly problematic fashion. All this, a life-shatteringly powerful recital of some Gerard Manley Hopkins from...

Duration:00:11:47

Black Poplar: Devil’s fingers & flame-breathing horses heralding the fall of a giant

5/18/2021
Our fifteenth tree (and don’t go fearing you’ve missed a few episodes, our last episode just included a bumper crop of Willows), the Black Poplar (Populus nigra), is one of my very favourites species - but unfortunately increasingly rare. It plays a role - according to the Greek Myth - into why we have the climate we have, its wood is fire resistant - making it invaluable in the development of modern society, and it is one of the most attractive and noble looking trees in our British...

Duration:00:11:14

The Willows: Highly immoral, incestuous, SEX-obsessed, b*stards!

5/11/2021
Our sixth tree… well, actually, our sixth, seventh, eighth, all the way up to our fourteenth tree; this episode is a whole riverbank full of filthy depraved sex-obsessed Wanton Willows (Sexy Salix spp.) - both native varieties and archaeophytes. The willow is an amazing coloniser - which is one reason why the British Isles boasts so many unique species and hybrids - imbued with an obsession of having sex with anything even remotely similar! This episode explores hybridisation, colonisation,...

Duration:00:15:21

Spindle: Linnaeus' favourite charcoal with splashes of Indian celebration

5/4/2021
Our fifth tree, the Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) is a stunner. Sexy in pink! Unsurpassed in vibrancy by any of our other native trees. This week, David looks at the secrets behind its many names, why Linnaeus loved it so much, and how it could be harbouring a worryingly dark secret. More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the 56(ish) Native Trees of the British Isles can be found at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/56Trees/ Weekly episodes available early AND bonus...

Duration:00:07:16

Box: The music, art and sensory secrets hidden within Queen Anne’s box

4/22/2021
Our fourth tree, the Box (Buxus sempervirens) is a much maligned tree. It has been disregarded by monarchy, slandered by legendary (and hunky) herbalists, but without it we would be without music, art and literature. Used for wood-block printing, making oboes and flutes, and (admittedly loosely) providing inspiration to Jane Austen... We owe this tree a great deal. More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the 56(ish) Native Trees of the British Isles can be found...

Duration:00:08:16

Scots Pine: Wolves, woodants and the wonder of our keystone species

4/20/2021
Our third tree, the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) has a rich association with English Theatre - something David knows about far too well. But, more important than that, the association this increasingly rare tree has with ancient forests, and the biodiversity within them, is unsurpassed. A stunning keystone species in its own right. More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the 56(ish) Native Trees of the British Isles can be found at:...

Duration:00:08:08

Juniper: A gin-fuelled journey to Oregon, via Holland and Georgian London

4/20/2021
Our second tree, the Juniper (Juniperus communis), holds the secret of gin within its berries - need it offer more?! But it also possesses many other medicinal secrets besides. This episode begins in the Oregon badlands, before returning to Europe and the rich history of a genuine obsession with Juniper - an obsession that may not last forever. More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the 56(ish) Native Trees of the British Isles can be found at:...

Duration:00:08:43

Yew: From Agincourt to cancer-cure, the ancient tree of life and death

4/20/2021
Our first tree, the Yew (Taxus baccata), has accompanied humanity since the very beginning, giving us the opportunity for longer life and a rapid death. The oldest human made tool is made of Yew, and the tree’s toxins hold a deadly poison and a remedy for cancer. This and much more; there is perhaps no other British tree with such an in-depth relationship with mankind. More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the 56(ish) Native Trees of the British Isles can be...

Duration:00:08:04

Oakes on Oaks: Introducing our 56(ish) Trees

4/16/2021
In season three of Trees A Crowd, David Oakes uproots the secrets and stories beneath the native tree species of the British Isles. Each week for the next few months, Oakes is going to be exploring our trees - from Scots Pine to Privet; Box, Beech and the Buckthorns; Wild cherries, wild pears and wild apples; Ash, Aspen, Alder, Elder and Elm... and many more (56 of them to be precise-ish!) But what is a Native Tree? Firstly, by 'tree' he means a woody plant that can, in the wild, reach at...

Duration:00:03:11