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"If you can't push trucks properly, Henry, why not talk to a tree instead? You know how much you like the forest!"
— James taunting Henry

James and the Trouble with Trees is the fifth episode of the fifth season.


Thomas had been working at the coaling plant all day. He is disapointed when he cannot recieve a wash-down due to a broken hosepipe and is afraid that the other engines will make fun of him. However, when Thomas returns to the shed, he finds James boasting. James believes he deserves a new coat of paint, as Sir Topham Hatt has told him that he is the pride of the line. Henry contradicts James by saying they are all pride of the line, but James does not listen.

The next morning, Henry has a accident while shunting and James insults him, saying he should go talk to trees instead. Henry tells James that Sir Topham Hatt is working on removing trees that are too close to the line. Later, James meets Thomas, Percy, and Terence while in the forest removing the trees. James thinks that trees are silly, so the others try to warn him, but the red engine just ignores them.

James then arrives at the station to collect the express, but Sir Topham Hatt re-assigns him to an important goods train. This puts James in a very bad mood. The trucks tease James about shunting and he sets off with the train. They soon reach a hill and begin to climb. An old tree by the side of the line was being blown by the wind. Rain had softened the soil and the tree slowly slid onto the tracks infront of James. He tried to reverse, but the train was too heavy. Luckily, Thomas came to James' aid. At first, James was afraid Thomas would tease him, but he did not. Thomas helped James move out of the way before the tree fell over.

Back at the yard, James thanked Thomas. Edward came in to tell them that Thomas will get a re-paint, while James will pull the express.




  • This episode was likely written to amend the third season episode Henry's Forest, which caused great anger on the Reverend W. Awdry's part.
  • In the UK narration, the line "Your colour is nice, James, pity about your face though!" is said long before it is in US narration.
  • The scene of the tree sliding down the embankment is similar to the scene in the film version of "The Railway Children", when the three children see trees sliding down a cutting, causing rocks to fall onto the rails.
  • When James puffs away with the trucks, a truck beside him has "N. E." written on it.
  • In the UK version, when Terence warns James about how trees are just as powerful as engines, James shouts "PAH!" whilst in the US version he just says "Oh, please!"


  • After James leaves Brendam his trucks lose their faces.
  • When James brakes to prevent hitting the tree his front bogie is derailed.
  • James says he is to pull the express, but he couples up to red branch line coaches.
  • At the shunting yard, the two trucks to James' right move positions between the wide and close-up shots.
  • When Thomas and James start to back away from the tree Thomas' driver's head looks up, possibly coming off its joints.
  • When James and Thomas back away from the tree, the tree is standing up again.
  • In the final shot of James, his face is not fitted properly as the gap between his face and eyes is exposed.
  • James has a different whistle sound when he leaves the forest, Kirk Ronan, and Brendam Docks.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish James en Peligro James in Danger
Brazilian Portuguese O Problema con Árvores The Problem with Trees
French James a des Problèmes Avec Les Arbres James Has Trouble with Trees
Swedish Trädtrubbel för James Tree Trouble for James
Norwegian James og Trøbbel Med Trærne James and the Trouble with Trees
Danish James og Hans Møde Med et Træ James and his Meeting with a Tree
German James und die Geschichte mit dem Baum James and the Story of the Tree
Italian Temporale per James Time for James
Japanese ジェームスがあぶない James is Dangerous
Czech Jakub a Potíže se Stromy James and the Trouble with Trees
Slovenian Jakob in Težave z Drevesi James and the Problems with the Trees
Russian Джеймс и проблемы с деревьями James and the Problems with the Trees
Hungarian James és a Fa James and the Timber
Welsh Helynt y Coed Tree Trouble
Greek Το ατύχημα του Τζίμι James' Accident
Romanian James şi Problema cu Copacii James and the Problems with Trees
Slovak Jakub a Problémy so Stromami James and the Problems with Trees
Polish Kuba i Kłopoty z Drzewami James and the Trouble with Trees
Chinese 詹姆士及来自树的故障 James and the Fault from the Tree
Korean 진정한 우정 True Friendship
Dutch James Heeft Problemen Met Bomen James Has Problems with Trees
Thai จมส์เกือบถูกต้นไม้ใหญ่ล้มทับ Large Trees Were Sunk Nearly Fell Over

Home Media Releases


DVD Boxsets


DVD Packs


DVD Packs

  • Classic Collection
  • Series Five and Series Six Double Pack


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