by Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, professor emerita, School of Biological Sciences

Introduction - October 6, 2022
For forty years, I’ve documented the ecological values that trees provide, like stabilizing soils and providing wildlife habitat. Listen

Autumn Colors - October 13, 2022
The process of moving out the chlorophyll reveals the yellow and orange of other leaf pigments. Listen

Why Apples? - October 20, 2022
Flowering plants have evolved so that their seeds will land in the best place to flourish, the very definition of biological fitness. Listen

The Wonders of Cork - October 28, 2022
Humanity has used cork for millennia. It's light, buoyant, and elastic, thanks to the 40 million air cells per cubic inch. Listen

Body Language - November 3, 2022
I noticed an odd branch on a small maple tree that started growing horizontally but then took a sharp vertical turn. Listen

Baseball Bats - November 10, 2022
Baseball bats use wood from ash trees to provide just the right feel for hitting homers. Listen

Symbolic Power - November 17, 2022
Why do trees pop up on our flags, stamps and money? Listen

Sycamore Trees - November 23, 2022
These trees thrive in city settings because of their rapid growth and tolerance of pollution. Listen

Good Old Trees - December 1, 2022
Habitats thrive when they have plenty of veterans trees in the mix. Listen

Music - December 8, 2022
The conductor’s baton is the smallest instrument in the orchestra pit and it makes no sound.   Listen

Holiday Wreaths - December 15, 2022
With the holidays come evergreen wreaths on people’s doors and windows. Where does all of this holiday greenery come from? Listen

Mistletoe - December 20, 2022
Given the biological purpose of mistletoe it is pretty strange that this parasite is also a symbol of love. Listen

Hermann Hesse - December 29, 2022
One of my favorite books is an essay by the German writer Hermann Hesse, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. Listen

Petrified Trees - January 5, 2023
On a recent camping trip in Nevada, I visited a display of petrified wood. Listen

Trees and Trains - January 12, 2023
Each mile of train track passes over 3,000 railroad ties – nearly all of them made from trees. Listen

Into the Canopy - January 19, 2023
It wasn’t all that long ago that scientists called the tree canopy "the last biotic frontier." Listen

Trees and Money - January 26, 2023
I recently discovered that not a single tree is cut down to make America's money! Listen

Tu BiShvat - February 2, 2023
One of my favorite ways to honor trees is celebrating Tu BiShvat, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the “New Year for the Trees.” Listen

Tree Architecture - February 9, 2023
The diversity in tropical forests is mind-boggling. Costa Rica alone hosts nearly 2,000 types of trees! Listen

Gambel Oaks - February 16, 2023
We know that when it comes to people, unassuming doesn’t mean uninteresting. The same holds true for trees.Listen

Originally published @