shake tree

shake (one's) tree

To provoke or compel one into taking some sort of action or reform. I believe people are electing radical candidates like her because they want to shake the government's tree. The employees' strike certainly shook our tree a bit, so we've begun
See also: shake, tree
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

shake (someone's) tree

To arouse to action or reaction; disturb: "[He] so shook Hollywood's tree that ... all manner of ... people called me unsolicited to itemize his mistakes or praise his courage" (Tina Brown).
See also: shake, tree
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In one of the more unusual requests, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Ali Najafi asked children home from school to go outside and shake tree limbs so they wouldn't break under the weight of the snow.
Questions like this make me want to shake Tree out of his funk.
A controlled explosion followed, which was reportedly strong enough to shake trees several blocks away.
He added: "You're one of the lead dogs raising money in the party and you have to have street cred in the finance world so you can shake trees."
Intensity V means almost everybody feels the shaking indoors and outdoors and the earthquake is strong enough to wake up sleeping people, make doors swing, push dishes off the shelves and pictures off the walls and shake trees.
Gently shake trees to make sure the needles aren't falling off.
Severn Trent Water ranger Natalie Needham said: "We have got nets and things so we can shake trees and see what falls in the nets and then find out about the mini-beasts.
(Growers shake trees so nuts fall onto a catching frame or canvas sheet.) Remove hulls, then dry in the sun or air until crisp to the bite.