Trees A Crowd


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

Season 3, Ep. 16

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, Peter Wohlleben, refers to trees as “Plant Elephants”; so what better reason to delve into the many sub-species of the Whitebeam tha by discussing Elephants first...?! Tenuous, yes; useful, hopefully! So - get your science goggles, petri-dishes and Bunsen burners at the ready, this episode is going to get a little geeky. (Special thanks to Peter Basham for adding his voice 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:

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