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Rebel with a fresh pine scent: Someone is making a documentary about the Stanford Tree

Dec 7, 2012, 2:03 PM EDT

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The Stanford University Department of Art & Art History has a film studies division, and each year those busy elves put together a mini-film festival. Among the four films being produced this year is a hard-hitting documentary about the Stanford Tree.

Stanford’s tree mascot has a colorful history which includes many proud accomplishments, and some not so proud. Including this. And this. I haven’t seen the documentary, but I hope it’s not going to be a whitewashed version like so many mascot tree documentaries are.

Here’s how the department’s web site describes the project:

Stanford’s unofficial mascot reflects the spirit of the band from which it sprouted. Through interviews with band alumni, current band members, and the current tree herself, this documentary will give a brief look at both the roots and the current role of this campus figure.

Wait, the Stanford Tree is a girl? I had no idea.

Some fun Stanford Tree facts:

  • In 2007, successfully turned back a coup attempt by two other prospective mascots — a french fry and a manhole cover — to be the Stanford Band’s official mascot.
  • The new tree is chosen once every two years or so during Tree Week.
  • During a 1995 men’s basketball game at Maples Pavilion, the Stanford Tree and Cal’s bear mascot, Oski, got into a fistfight in front of the Stanford student section. The Tree removed Oski’s head during the scuffle — believed to be the first time that the Cal mascot’s identity had been revealed to the public since the 1940s.