102 episodes

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/
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Trees A Crowd David Oakes

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 94 Ratings

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.

    Norwegian Spruce: Our Viking Christmas Tree; aka ‘The Return of the Native’

    Norwegian Spruce: Our Viking Christmas Tree; aka ‘The Return of the Native’

    BONUS EPISODE: For Christmas, David Oakes explores the cultural importance of the non-native Christmas Tree, the Norwegian Spruce (Picea abies). Although native to our shores before the most recent Ice Age, it took Vikings from Scandanavia, Princes from Saxe-Coburg, Violinists from Italy and Horses from Aintree to truly root the Norwegian Spruce into our National identity - and that's not to mention any British Christmas rituals.
    Weekly episodes available early AND bonus content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon.
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    • 8 min
    Holly: Merry berries & mistle thrushes deck our true native Christmas tree

    Holly: Merry berries & mistle thrushes deck our true native Christmas tree

    Our fifty-sixth (and final!) tree, Holly (Ilex aquifolium). Released to coincide with the Winter Solstice, aka the end of the rule of the Holly King, this episode celebrates a tree that is rooted in the winter celebrations of Celts, Romans, Christians, and even Cretaceous Dinosaurs! For centuries it has also fed the cattle that feeds us, it has supported generations of over-wintering birds (such as the greedy Mistle Thrush) and it has kept Goblins, Witches and arson-obsessed Cumbrian villagers at bay. Illuminated by the words of Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy, Robert Southey and a whole collective known of historical botanists, this episode celebrates one of our undeniably great trees. There is also a VERY special Christmas present to you all, courtesy of the stunning Leisure Society. (Special thanks to Richard Hollis and Holly Newell for adding their voices, and to Bella Hardy and the Leisure Society for their musical meliflosities.) 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 content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon.
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    • 32 min
    The Viburnums: Ways fared to Guelderland via chalk paths and waterlogged fens

    The Viburnums: Ways fared to Guelderland via chalk paths and waterlogged fens

    Our fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth trees, the Wayfaring Tree (Viburnum lantana) and the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus) - aka the Viburnums. It’s all about names this week. Not only do these trees have two of the strangest common names, but they also have a rich array of traditional folk names too. But whether you’re discussing Crampbark, the Snowball Tree, the Water Elder, or the Hoarwithy, its fair to say that these two trees aren’t the most palatable plants for our nation’s wildlife, but they’re certainly some of the prettiest - with stunning umbels of white flowers, and glorious red and black berries. (Special thanks to Al Petrie for adding his voice, yet again, to this series.) 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 content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon.
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    • 11 min
    Elder: The people’s purple medicine chest lined with pariahs, period pop-guns & poo

    Elder: The people’s purple medicine chest lined with pariahs, period pop-guns & poo

    Our fifty-third tree, Elder (Sambucus nigra). The “medicine chest of the common people” has probably helped keep more people healthy than any other native British tree, and yet it is derided for its smell, associated with Christ’s betrayal, and when burnt is said to provide a mouthpiece for the devil and/or a malign tree spirit. The Elder is a symbol of Summer, has one of the most cherished berries out there (cherished by both man and beast), and has inspired our greatest playwrights, botanists and podcasters! (Special thanks to Deirdre Mullins, Adam Ewan and Pete Basham for adding their voices to this episode.) 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 content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon.
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    • 20 min
    Wild Privet: Your country needs Spitfires, stick-insects and an untrimmed bush!

    Wild Privet: Your country needs Spitfires, stick-insects and an untrimmed bush!

    Our fifty-second tree, Privet or Wild Privet (Ligustrum vulgare). It's NATIONAL TREE WEEK! To celebrate; the tree our host was dreading writing an episode about - a tree he has sadly often cast aside as dull and uninteresting. Far from it (ish). Here grow stories of Spitfires and school Biology labs, as well as the pretty special manner in which Privet creates its foliage (which is fantastic for nesting birds, hungry insects, and even draws in bats!) (Special thanks to Al Petrie and Louise Bowe of the Tree Council.) 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 content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon.
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    • 9 min
    Ash: Unlocking dieback with firelight, hurley sticks & Heiðrún the Viking goat

    Ash: Unlocking dieback with firelight, hurley sticks & Heiðrún the Viking goat

    Our fifty-first tree, Ash (Fraxinus excelsior). One of the British Isles’ most plentiful trees… for now. This week’s episode explores the Ash’s struggle against “Ash Dieback” and what you can do to help halt its spread; a refreshed look at the Viking’s obsession with the Ash Tree in their mythology, and; an exploration of the oh-so-many things this magnificent tree has offered up to society. That, and a good old sing-song courtesy of Lady Celia Congreve and music maestro Gary Hickeson. 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 content made free to forage by "Subscribtion Squirrels" on our Patreon.
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
94 Ratings

94 Ratings

LunaLovegood289 ,

I can’t believe we’re at tree 56!!

This series of Trees A Crowd has been my absolute favourite and has made a plant obsessive out of me!
Getting to learn all of the different native trees of the British isles has been fantastic- and the description given to them has not only made me want to know and explore more, but also been able to identify them as I’m out and about, which really excited me! Definitely listen to it - it’s fascinating and well worth your time!!

Walnut crazy ,

Thoroughly enjoyable

Love this show. Cannot wait for another episode. Interesting but also funny and never boring. Speaks to my inner geek about natural history, folklore, facts and myths and in a very entertaining way.

DrHBell ,

Great show

I like to listen to it whilst canoeing. Props to Bella Hardy for the ace tunes, too

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