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James and the Trouble with Trees

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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 and is disappointed when he cannot receive a wash-down due to a broken hosepipe, now 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 ignores him.

The next morning, while Henry shunts some trucks, they run into a few solid boxes making the first two of them derail. James insults him, saying he should go talk to trees instead. Henry tells James that the Fat Controller was working on removing trees that were 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 the Fat Controller 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 slides onto the tracks, blocking James' line. Immediately James comes to a stop. He tries to reverse, but the train is too heavy. Luckily, Thomas comes to James' rescue. At first James is afraid Thomas would tease him, but he does not. Thomas helps James move out of the way before the tree falls over.

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




  • A reference to the third season episode, Henry's Forest is made in this episode.
  • The scene of the tree sliding down the embankment is similar to the scene in the 1970 British film adaptation of E. Nesbit's classic children's novel, The Railway Children, when the three children watch trees sliding down a cutting, causing rocks to fall onto the rails.
  • In the US version, when the troublesome trucks derail, the crash sounds are completely different.


  • After James leaves Brendam, his trucks lose their faces.
  • When James' driver applies his brakes to prevent hitting the tree, James' pony truck 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.
  • Thomas is covered in coal dust at the beginning of the episode, but when James is warned about the trees and when Thomas rescues James, Thomas is clean. Then, when James apologises to Thomas, he is covered in coal dust again.
  • In the first close-up of James looking shocked, the edge of the set can be seen.
  • When Thomas is being coupled up to James's brakevan, he is some centimetres away from it but when Thomas say "I'm ready!" his buffers are touching the brakevan's buffers.
  • In the scene of Thomas and Percy looking angry, Percy's face is crooked.
  • When Henry is shunting the trucks, he is coming from a dead end.
  • In the Japanese version, Henry has Gordon's voice during the scene at Tidmouth Sheds.
  • When Thomas pulls James away, James' brake pipe is crooked.
  • Edward's whistle is at a slightly lower pitch than it usually is.
  • In the second and third close-ups of James looking shocked, a white light is seen in the top-left corner and James is on the other side of the set as the tree can be seen behind him.
  • From James' point-of-view when he stops in front of the tree, the camera was obviously wet, as a white smudge mark can be seen across the tree trunk.
  • In the first close-up of James looking shocked, his face is dry but in the next close-up of him looking shocked, his face is wet.


In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
Spanish Diego en Peligro James in Danger
Brazilian Portuguese O Problema con Árvores The Problem with Trees
French Le Problème Avec Les Arbres / Le Problème de L'arbre (Québec) The Trouble with Trees / The Tree Trouble (Canada)
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
Catalan James in Perill James in Danger
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
Flemish De Problemen Met Bomen The Problem With Trees
Thai จมส์เกือบถูกต้นไม้ใหญ่ล้มทับ Large Trees Were Sunk Nearly Fell Over

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