James and the Trouble with Trees is the 109th episode of Thomas and Friends.
Thomas has been working at the coaling plant all day and is disappointed when he cannot receive a washdown due to a broken hosepipe and is afraid that the other engines will make fun of his dirty paintwork. However, when Thomas comes back to the sheds, he finds James boasting; James is being given a new coat of paint the next day, as the Fat Controller 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 and mocks Thomas when he says he needs a new coat of paint.
The next morning, while James is being repainted, Henry shunts some trucks, but he unintentionally rams them into a few solid boxes causing the first two to derail. James insults him, saying he should go talk to trees instead if he cannot push trucks carefully. Henry tells James that the Fat Controller has been 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. He thinks the Fat Controller wants him to pull the express, so he sets off for the station at Kirk Ronan.
James then arrives at the station to collect the express, but it turns out that Fat Controller needs him to fetch an important goods train. James tells him that he has been repainted and asks him if Thomas and Percy can do it instead, but the Fat Controller tells him that really useful engines don't argue. This puts James in a very bad mood. At the docks, the weather has changed significantly, and the trucks tease James about shunting before he sets off with the train. They soon reach a hill and begin to climb. An old tree by the side of the line is being blown by the wind. Rain has softened the soil and the tree slowly slides onto the tracks, blocking James' line. Immediately James comes to a stop and tries to reverse, but the train is too heavy. Luckily for him, 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 The Fat Controller says that they are both brave engines. As an award, Thomas will get a repaint, while James will finally pull the express.