Trees A Crowd-logo

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

Field Maple: Is it a BIRD (tongue)? Is it (an experimental Second World War) PLANE (cargo drop)? No! It's the colourful corky bungs of the SAPINDACEAE!

10/19/2021
Our forty-fourth tree, Field Maple (Acer campestre); the sole truly native member of an incredibly colourful family. Their branches have supported Roman vines, the fruits have inspired modern military design, and the wood is one of the most sonorous - inspiring everyone from Stradivarius to Fender. You can drink its sap, make salads from its leaves; but the best way for your senses to enjoy the Field, and indeed all Maples, is simple to open one’s eyes at the end of Autumn. Unforgettable...

Duration:00:14:44

Hornbeam: Hardwood for smelting Boy Scouts & yoking chariots to hunt Ben Hur!

10/12/2021
Our forty-third tree, Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). As hard as horn, and... well... 'beam' just means 'tree'. A beautiful leafy canopy supporting biodiversity year-round, it has been used by humans for centuries to smelt iron and to harness the power of beasts, and you probably just thought it was an odd Beech tree! Truth is, it should be more loved than it is... because it isn't planning on going anywhere anytime soon! More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the...

Duration:00:07:40

Hazel: "Monsieur, with your mellow fruitfulness, Dormice and ancient epigenetic poetical-pescatarianism, you are really spoiling us!"

10/5/2021
Our forty-second tree, Hazel (Corylus avellana). DORMICE! Enjoy. But, if you need more: we explore the pros and cons of modern agricultural hedge-care, how the Elizabethans were addicted to ‘filberts’, how Ferrero accidentally use 25% of the whole World’s hazelnuts, and we have poetry from all four corners of the British Isles - Phil Cumbus reading Shakespeare and Keats, Pollyanna McIntosh with Rabbie Burns, Katie McGrath with some cob-guzzling-salmon-based ancient Irish folklore, and Dylan...

Duration:00:19:08

The Birches: Magic Shrooms to Witches Brooms, the A to Z of the Birch nurtured

9/28/2021
Our fortieth and forty-first trees, the Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Downy Birch (Betula pubescens) - with apologies to the Dwarf Birch (Betula nana). Our birches are some of our very earliest colonisers, and as such there is little the birch does not nurture; for example, its mycorrhizal relationships support hallucinogenic mushrooms, witches’ brooms and barber’s razors, we drink it, and prisoners of gulags have even written love letters on it… The birch was also instrumental in...

Duration:00:18:04

Alder: Swamp thing! You make my heart (-sized root nodules) sing / fix nitrogen with a symbiotic bacterium!

9/21/2021
Our thirty-ninth tree, Alder (Alnus glutinosa). A tree designed for water; as strong as steel when submerged, alder timber has been keeping Venice from sinking for centuries. In the wild, our Alder provides homes for otters within its exposed root systems and can be found carpeted in the most verdant of mossy carpets. But more important than that, in cahoots with a bacterium, Alder fills our waterlogged and swampy soils with life-building nitrogen. This week’s episode was recorded with our...

Duration:00:11:24

Sweet Chestnut: Legendarily tasty, but as prickly and trustworthy as a Borgia

9/14/2021
Our thirty-eighth tree, the Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa). A mighty tree, but actually a non-native archeophyte; one whose fruit has both fattened us and inspired us. We soak the chestnuts in sugar, we sing christmas songs about them, and they’ve inspired histories greatest fable-fabricators to have a LOT of fun! So, whether you want stories of 4000 year old trees growing in the shadow of a volcano and sheltering 100 horsemen, or myths about a horny Roman god wanting to make illegitimate...

Duration:00:17:00

The Oaks: From two tiny acorns grow Viking Gods, Druidic ritual sacrifice, Nazis and... Mr Darcy?!

9/7/2021
Our thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh trees, the Oaks; Pedunculate (Quercus robur) & Sessile (Quercus petraea). Revered by Druids, Vikings, Fascists, Socialists, Shipbuilders, Piglets, Invertebrates, Epiphytes and (most importantly) Dr George McGavin, our British Isles would not be in the shape they are now if it wasn’t for our Oaks. For good or ill; they’ve given us wine and warships, literature and law, cricket balls and currency, and that’s not even mentioning the gifts they have given to...

Duration:00:34:46

Peter Wohlleben: The hidden life of the ‘Green Sheep’ who wanted to become an Ent

9/3/2021
Peter Wohlleben is a German forester, an international best-selling author and (unfortunately for our host) a rival dendro-podcaster! Here Peter talks not only in the manner for how he has become internationally renowned - speaking of how trees can have families, of how they can feel panic and of how they may LITERALLY be able to see what we are doing with tiny optical lenses in their leaves - but also more personally - about how he was the “green sheep” of his family, spending his childhood...

Duration:00:38:01

Beech: Never judge a ‘buche’ by its leaf-cover - (Buchen sollst du suchen-ish!)

8/31/2021
Our thirty-fifth tree, Beech (Fagus sylvatica). Without the Beech, we would not have literature (ish). The tree has been so useful to human/British kind that its substantial distribution across the country proudly represents this. It has fed us, clothed us, given us books to read and even provided us with a soft bed for the night - but NONE of this would be possible without its fungal friends. This week we examine the first of the Fagaceae and the fungi that feed her. This is the Queen tree;...

Duration:00:19:48

Wych Elm: Which wonky wych is the survivor; our world's first wood woman?

8/24/2021
Our thirty-fourth tree, Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra). Following on from a rather dour episode on the fate of many of our nation’s fine Elm trees, David Oakes is delighted to delve into a species of Elm which is proving more resilient to Dutch Elm Disease, and discovering how it is triumphing. Looking back to a time when the Elms were a dominant tree on the British Isles, David shines a light on the intoxicating flowers, the huggable trunks and the design-perfect samara of the Wych Elm, and how...

Duration:00:13:27

English Elms: Dreams in Crystal Palaces, but coffins by Cathedrals

8/17/2021
Our thirty-second and thirty-third trees, the English - which may or may not be called (Ulmus procera) - and Field Elm (Ulmus minor). Recorded live in the Salisbury Cathedral Close, David reminisces about fine art, Nobel-prize winning literature and performing pagan rituals in the spire’s shade. Then from Cathedrals to Constable; then Crystal Palaces, Columella and coffins; then dreams, nationalistic deception and one of the worst botanical diseases the British Isles has ever faced - Dutch...

Duration:00:13:03

Sea Buckthorn: Fuelling flying horses & fixing sand dunes - the tree that started it all?

8/10/2021
Our 31st tree, Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides). Often derided for its rapacious spread in areas where it might not be entirely wanted, the Sea Buckthorn is a species that helped provide a roothold for almost everyother tree species on the British Isles. Add into the mix a bit about Genghis Khan, Flying Horses and perhaps one of the greatest sorbets our host has ever eaten, and you're looking at a wonder of a tree. (Special thanks to Gavin Drea and Dara McAnulty for all adding their...

Duration:00:14:03

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