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1000 years ago, Polynesians reached the islands of Hawaii. On their seaworthy canoes were only a handful of plant species, but among them was the divisively flavorful botanical wonderdrug known as noni (Morinda citrifolia). Known for its funky flavors and bredth of influence on traditional Hawaiian medicine, this pan-tropical trees knows how to gro…
 
The devil went down to Georgia, where the Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) lives its days in peace and harmony. This record-breakingly long-lived tree found the perfect place to call home--the swamps of the Southeastern United States. There, it sheds stereotypes as well as it sheds its needles, growing with grace and beauty against the harsh and d…
 
In this BONUS EPISODE from our Patreon (c. Treeson's Eatings 2022), we discuss three non-tree food plants we love eat during the holidays: vanilla, cranberries, and peppermint! While we take a breath after our SUCCESSION series, please enjoy this unlocked episode and learn a thing or two about some classic holiday foods. Completely Arbortrary is pr…
 
Late succession... the third and final act of a seemingly eternal stage play, and a self-perpetuating phase of the lifespan of a forest. The Yellow carabeen (Sloanea woollsii) dominates late succession in Australia. How and why is it so successful, and how does it set up generational success for its kind? In the final episode of our SUCCESSION seri…
 
Weed tree? Or... the unsung hero of mid succession forests? The red alder (Alnus rubra) is our official representative from mid succession forests, and the lens through which we view this second phase, the early adulthood, of forest growth. There are no shortage of benefits this tree provides to its habitat, so does it deserve its bad reputation? O…
 
When a forest goes through a massive disturbance, little survives. We begin our journey here. What happens in the first stage of the succession of a forest? Learn in this episode through the eyes of the staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), an en'tree'preneur of the early succession. MAKE YOUR MOVE. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Cl…
 
Thick, thorough, and quite enjoyable, today's episode is all about the koa (Acacia koa) and its endemism on the 5 million year-old islands of Hawai'i. This special tree is unique in so many ways, we lost count: fake leaves, exploding bark, instrument wood... this tree's got it all. We also chat about Hawai'i, and the incredible odds of life landing…
 
EPISODE 100! We truly made it. And to celebrate, we're joined not only by the obligatory Kool & The Gang, but by TWO true firs, the Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) and the Noble fir (Abies procera). It's a two fir one! Then we take a trip down memory allée and visit our very first episode. Happy Episode 100 everyone! Completely Arbortrary is produ…
 
A big flower with a big name. This week we discuss the bull banksia (Banksia grandis) and the prolific capitalist-botanist it’s named after, Sir Joseph Banks of the Royal Society. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show on Patreon Follow along on Instagram Find Ar…
 
What does it mean to be endemic? This. Tree. KNOWS. As does its homeland, the Klamath Mountains, a hotbed of endemic species. We chat with author and coniferman Michael Kauffmann about the Brewer spruce (Picea breweriana) and its unique place in this world. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone o…
 
Happy New Year Fungal Associates! We bring you a simultaneously revered and reviled tree: the red maple (Acer rubrum). Learn how this megasuperstar got its start, and how it rose to be the Starbucks, Red Lobster, and the Chris Pratt of the tree world. Happy 2023! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the …
 
THE QUINCE (Cydonia oblonga), a legendary fruit of myth and magic, lost to time and erased from history by its usurper, the evil apple. This golden-apple has a rich history and an ever better taste. Please enjoy our LAST episode of Treeson’s Eatings, and of 2022! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the …
 
We revisit the Triangle of Citrus to discuss a cornerstone of the shape, the Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata). We talk etymology, genetic diversity and interbreeding before a visit from a pair of happy carolers. Merry Christmas! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support t…
 
This week we take a trip down the Mississippi River and dive into the world of the pecan (Carya illinoinensis). Our second installment of Treeson's Eatings, we chat about where this nut came from, how it got to where it is today, and just how lovely it truly is. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the C…
 
This week we take another dive into history and question if the true cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) really stands up to its name. This is our first installment of Treeson's Eatings, so get your spoons ready and listen in! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show on Pa…
 
Enjoy this bonus episode as we take a quick break. We put out these episodes twice a month and they are available in our Patreon. So go check it out and hear more fabulous conversations about other related topics and trees. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show …
 
This week we bring you the Tom Hanks of the trees, the white oak (Quercus alba). We take a deep dive in how this ubiquitous tree has been a cultural icon since before the "first Thanksgiving" and see how it has maintained a reverence unlike almost all others. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone…
 
This week, we really jump off the deep end and we throw off the yoke of traditional treedom. This week we're coving the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), a giant of its universe. Listen in for a look at what it takes to be a cactus, and stay for a new word game. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join th…
 
Wollemia nobilis, the conifer we didn't know existed. This week we discuss the Wollemi-pine, a tree before time, and its geological journey across the world. We also hear from Ian Allen from the Sydney Botanic Gardens on this tree and its questionable future. Watch your step! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crow…
 
Headed down south to the land of the pine, our journey this week takes us to the flats of North Caroline. The longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) has a storied history that means a whole lot to a whole lot of people, and has for generations. Listen in for a walk through the southern forests and learn what makes this tree so unique. Completely Arbortrar…
 
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! This week's tree is another elder that grew up in a different time, the rainbow wood (Araucarioxylon arizonicum). A fossil of a tree, we dig into what petrification actually is, and then we build ourselves a Trunkenstein's monster. Very spooky. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Co…
 
Last week we talked about a tree that has a unique--and deadly--relationship with birds. This week, the script is flipped and we hear about a bird that uses a tree to accomplish it gruesome agenda: the thorn mimosa (Vachellia nilotica). Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Supp…
 
What happens when a temporary tattoo becomes permanent, and makes you permanently DEAD?! We find out in our most macabre episode yet coving the bird-catcher tree (Pisonia grandis). Join us this week as discuss this tree's unique means of spreading its seeds, and the dark repercussions. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and…
 
This week we present to you a case for and against the sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). A tree that is lauded by some and loathed by others, we take sides and present the merits and demerits of the subject tree and leave it for you to decide its fate. Which side will you choose? Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Ale…
 
Due to a host of circumstances, our regularly scheduled programming has been postponed to next week! HOWEVER, we're taking this opportunity to tell you all about our Patreon revamp! And to share a Patreon episode - What is Phenology! We hope you enjoy it and we'll see you next week with the Sweetgum! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by …
 
Close your eyes and imagine a maple leaf. What is it that defines the quintessential maple leaf? Well today, we chat about the bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and dive into how that standard image of a maple leaf is as accurate as you may think. Then we chat about the biggest news of the day with another edition of the Fungal Associated Press. Co…
 
A tree that has made no enemies, a tree that doesn't rock the boat, today's tree is the Canadian serviceberry, also knowns as the shad-blow, the shadbush, the bilberry, the juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis). This episode we have a classic fireside chat about this tree that has something for everyone, and on top of that we collaborated with Amanda …
 
Alex and Casey go on a walkabout in the Overlook neighborhood of Portland to gander at some of the city's most gorgeous arboreal specimens. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show on Patreon Follow along on Instagram Find Arbortrary merch on our store Find additio…
 
Today's story has us wondering who's the real victim. The Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) is a tree that has been used for millennia for cultural practices across the world, but it's also a tree that has its fair share of using other organisms for its own purposes. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join…
 
The grand finale in our symbiosis 4 Act play. In this special episode of Completely Arbortrary, we discuss the much beloved Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis). We’re joined by Peri Sasnett from the Glacier National Park Headwaters podcast to discuss where these trees are and where they’re headed. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey…
 
In our penultimate episode about the topic, we explore symbiosis across kingdoms, and dive into the relationship between the trumpet tree (Cercopia obtusifolia) and its evolutionary partners, Azteca ants. Then we reveal a new game! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support t…
 
What happens when the guy who makes you pizza moves in and makes you pizza in your own kitchen--forever? Today, we get at that question and how it relates to cells in cells in cells in a tree that looks like parasols in parasols in parasols, the Japanese umbrella-pine (Sciadopitys verticillata). Buckle up. Completely Arbortrary is produced and host…
 
How many characters can one introduce in one episode? Today we find out. The Andean alder (Alnus acuminata) takes us on a journey through time and space as we take on our first foray into a series dedicated to symbiosis and all its manifestations. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Mont…
 
What does the purpleleaf plum (Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud') represent for you? For Casey and Alex, it's the suburbs, and boy do they despise it. This week, we get a little snippet of American History and hear about how the suburbs came to be, and how this tree has come to represent them in the worst way. Completely Arbortrary is produced and h…
 
There are more than 20 species of Polylepis shrubs and trees. At the highest altitudes (upwards of 16,000 feet, they grow as small shrubs. Lower, they can grow up 120 feet. So this forest is a bit unique, and we need to get to the bottom of it: IS it a forest? Or is it a shrubland? When does it become such? Completely Arbortrary is produced and hos…
 
Should Man hold dominion over nature? And where did this idea come from? What got us in our current environmental mess in the first place. Today we talk the Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum) and tackle some BIG picture stuff too. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the …
 
A tree that truly grows its own way, the Pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii) is a prolific grower and a gorgeous shower. Listen along as we discuss this curious beauty and the special place it’s found in the world. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show on Patreo…
 
Can a tree help you be smarter? This week we dive into that question and discuss how air pollution effects our brains, and how trees can help keep us operating at our top level. After our rating, we head LIVE to the Grand Finale of the Tournament of Champion Trees with Tobin Mitnick (@jewslovetrees). Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by …
 
This week we have our work cut out for us. The black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) is our tree of topic, and there's no getting around it: it's an emotional roller coaster that pulls us in every direction at once. Listen in and make your own opinions on this complicated tree, and stick around for the second round of the Tournament of Champion Tr…
 
Join us this week where the trees have no name. But this one does! It’s Joshua! Learn all about yuccas on our last of three monocotic adventures. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show on Patreon Follow along on Instagram Find Arbortrary merch on our store Find a…
 
Our quest to further define "tree" continues with the STUNNING Socotra Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari). We talk all about this unique, altruistic "tree" and all the curious strategies it takes to get where it's going. Then we answer a question about tree albinoism! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson …
 
What exactly isn't a tree? This week we cover the other side of the controversy coin with a discussion on the Chinese windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei). We get into the thick of it and find out just what a palm is if it's not a "tree". Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club S…
 
One of the biggest trees around, the tuliptree is an ancient species and a champion of the people. Learn all about the arbitrary intricacies of measuring Champion Trees and select who you think will make it to the end! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show on Pa…
 
The fruit that went ‘round the world, and the fruit that we both like the best, this week we are covering the peach tree (Prunus persica). However, we go one step further and Casey tries to convince Alex that it's not just the peach, but everything like a peach that reigns supreme in a world full of fruit! Completely Arbortrary is produced and host…
 
A fruit tree that has been in all the right places with all the right stuff, the pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a folk hero among fruits. But that's not all to the story. This week we chat about the pawpaw and it's slow, methodical march to success from the tropics to Canada. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson…
 
What is a penny worth? This is the philosophical question we grapple with today as we debate the merits of the dogwood (Cornus spp.). This episode is a little different than our normal shows because we're covering three different dogwoods all at once, but we assure you that's not where the controversy ends. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hos…
 
A cosmopolitan tree that has humble roots, the white mulberry (Morus alba) has been transported across the world to support our insatiable appetite for silk. This week we discuss this relationship and how it's brought both the worms and the trees to every corner of the globe. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crow…
 
This week we chat about the famous southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) of the southeastern United States. A tree that has had many different identities, we discuss how this tree was the base of naval power during the height of colonialism and beyond, and how it's both gorgeous yet also fraught with imagery of a sordid past. Completely Arbortrary…
 
On this BONUS EPISODE, we sit down with Lizzie Falconer and Jen Thomas from the podcast Shorts. to discuss the Ursula K. Le Guin short story Direction of the Road. Find Lizzie and Jen's podcast at shortsthepodcast.com or any your podcast platform of choice! Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone o…
 
The Lord of the Tree Rings comes to a flashy finish with the Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocellia). This week we chat about all things specimen trees! Then we round off the saga with some tree lore from Alex. Completely Arbortrary is produced and hosted by Casey Clapp and Alex Crowson Join the Cone of the Month Club Support the show on Patreon Follow …
 
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