College Traditions: What’s up with that Tree?

Stanford TreeYou know the tree I’m talking about. The quirky tree that dances around at the Stanford football games. I’ve always wondered why they have a tree as a mascot when they are the Stanford “Cardinal.” Right? The “Cardinal,” the color, not the bird has been their official mascot since 1975. Prior to that they were the “Indians,” but in 1972 it was declared offensive, so they decided to adopt a different mascot. In 1975 the Stanford band did a halftime show suggesting several mascots, and the tree was one. It represented “El Palo Alto” the tree that appears on both the official seal of the University and of Palo Alto, CA.

For a few years, the role of the tree was usually performed by the band manager’s girlfriend. But in the mid 80’s they adopted a rigorous tryout process for the tree. You had to prove you had the right stuff to be the tree and they sometimes performed dangerous stunts to prove their worthiness. At some point the school stepped in and put a stop to the outrageous stunts for the students’ safety. Adding to the quirkiness, is that each year the student who wears the tree gets to design the costume, so you never know what it’s going to look like from year to year. It’s always interesting on the farm.

So there you go, the next time someone asks you about that tree you’ll know the full story.

If you want to know more about college traditions check out Stan Beck’s ”

What are your favorite school traditions? I need ideas for future articles! Please let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you.

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3 Responses to “College Traditions: What’s up with that Tree?”

  1. Donald Quixote from Flying Colors Apparel says:

    That certainly is an odd tradition, but now I know, thanks for the information.

  2. Yasin Rishad says:

    Since the early 1970s, the Stanford Tree the Cardinal’s unofficial mascot has been famous.

    The stunts performed by students have just three rules: Don’t go to jail, don’t go to the hospital and don’t light yourself on fire
    Yasin Rishad recently posted..13+ Best Seo Optimized WordPress Themes 2015My Profile

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