At any given moment, the brain has 14 billion neurons firing at a speed of 450 miles per hour. We don't have control over most of them. When we get a chill: goose bumps. When we get excited: adrenaline. The body naturally follows its impulses, which I think is part of what makes it so hard for us to control ours. Of course, sometimes we have impulses we would rather not control, that we later wish he had. The body is a slave to its impulses. But the thing that makes us human is what we can control. After the storm, after the rush, after the heat of the moment has passed, we can cool off and clean up the messes we made. We can try to let go of what was. Then again...
I Am a Tree
Season 3, Episode 2
Air date September 26, 2006
Written by Krista Vernoff
Directed by Jeff Melman
Episode Guide transcript
Time Has Come Today
Sometimes a Fantasy

I Am a Tree is the second episode of the third season and the 38th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.


The staff deal with a boy, who literally has become a tree. A patient who vocalises all his thoughts aloud, no matter how rude. A lung cancer patient, who ends up having sex wth Alex and Joe's restrooms. Meanwhile, Bailey is back with a vengeance from recent events. Burke's mother catches Cristina offering a new hospital service. Callie covers for Meredith. Izzie starts baking out of grief. Derek and Addison find their marriage is over.


Izzie is baking muffins. Although she admits to herself that her couple of batches are "enough," she ends up cracking another few eggs into a bowl.

Back at the hospital, Cristina has paid off Tyler to guard Burke's door. Tyler gets called away on a code blue, but Cristina doesn't realize this, and strips for Burke. Burke's mother and are shocked at the sight. Cristina tries to cover herself with a blanket in embarassment, and by the time she's able to get out of there, the whole hospital knows about her trangression.

Addison, with her hair loose and coffee stain on her shirt, requests the day off from Richard, due to her shock at finding Meredith's panties in Derek's suit pocket. Richard, meanwhile, has been sleeping in his office after Adele tells him she has no more time to give. Richard gives her the day off so she can "do some drinking and crying" and tells her marriage is hard. She replies that "it's probably good mine's just about over, then."

The interns and Bailey walk in to give a patient with aggressive lung cancer a briefing and prep her for surgery; however, they find her stuffing herself with desserts, which she explains by saying she's been healthy all her life, and she still has lung cancer, so she might as well enjoy herself. George reschedules her surgery for the next day.

The interns then move onto another patient named Benjamin, who has a brain tumor that makes him say whatever he thinks. He also cannot pick up sarcasm or irony. He notices the relationship beteen Meredith and Derek, as well as claiming Cristina always looks annoyed. Cristina is then assigned to pep for surgery. Meredith is to do charts, and Alex to go to the pit.

Cristina runs into Mama Burke in the hall, which extremely awkward. She introduces herself, but Mama Burke has picked up on the interns light use of the term "the Nazi" for Bailey, and Mama Burke critcizes their poor judgement. Derek then comes by and introduces himself as the surgeon who operated on Burke. Mama Burke then requests Cristina for a "quick cup of coffee", which Derek readily agrees to, despite Cristina's look of anguish. He says that Meredith can cover for her, a situation neither of them are happy with.

Meredith drags Derek into a stairwell, trying to tell him that he's married and that she can't deal with being a homewrecker. He says no matter what she chooses, he's ending it with Addison... today. Meredith is about to kiss him, but Callie opens the door and gives her a look which sends both of them scrambling. Callie then returns Meredith's underwear and says she and Derek "should think about getting a hotel room or something."

Cristina goes to see Burke, saying that Mama Burke thinks she's a "racist stripper", but Burke laughs it off.

Derek goes to see the chief, asking if he's seen Addison. The chief has, and comfronts Derek having the affair, saying that Derek didn't leave the panties in his tux unless he wanted Addison to find them. The chief says he knows "a thing or two abut affairs, and even a thing or two about affairs with women named Grey" referring to his liasons with Ellis Grey. Derek says Meredith is more than an affair, and he's still going to end it today.

Benjamin meanwhile tells his sister that he doesn't want the surgery. Meredith is checking him, and he tells her that she should change her hair conditioner. Meredith finds the truth refreshing. He also asks her what the holdup is on sex with Derek.

George is jealous about how Callie's panties are on the board, and Callie tells Meredith not to tell George that they're hers, because it's cute to see him jealous.

A boy comes into the trauma bay who has literally been turned into a tree, with a tree protruding through his stomach. His distraught father blocks the paramedics and Alex shoves him into a wall.

Cristina is having coffee with Mama Burke, and Jane asks her about marriage with Preston, claiming Cristina must have considered the possibility. It's clear Cristina hasn't and is shocked by the fact. Burke comes along to save Cristina, but only ends up making things worse once its clear to Mama Burke why he's really there. Jane calls Cristina selfish and says their relationship won't last much longer.

Benjamin codes in surgery, after telling Cristina that his last boyfriend's mother hadn't liked him, and his boyfriend said it didn't bother him, but it obviously did.

Izzie drops some stuff muffins off Joe's, and Addison is there, clearly drunk.

Meredith goes over to check on Izzie, but Izzie's not home. Finn comes by with lunch for Izzie, even though Meredith wasn't there, and they kiss. This causes Meredith to rethink her decision of Derek versus Finn.

Back at Joe's, Addison is drunker than ever, wanting to get "gloriously fat" by eating all the muffins. She then starts crying and tells Bailey that she's desirable and attractive" and she "doesn't understand how it can be over."

Meredith tells Cristina she has no idea what to do. Alex flirts shameslessly with the lung cancer patient, eventually having sex with her in the bathroom, and George is still jealous of Callie.

Richard finds Callie in the basement and forces her to move out, although Callie says, "You're living in your office!" makng him realize he too needs to rethink his decisions.

In the end, Derek goes to Addison's hotel room to tell her it's over, but is shocked to find that she has slept with Mark again.