This video was smuggled to us from the wilds of Palo Alto, where Stanford’s sports mascot, the Stanford Tree, was regenerated from a tiny acorn to embark on a new semester of shenanigans.
It is indeed remarkable that you’re witnessing this, because the Stanford Band usually keeps things very close to the vest when it comes to their activities. That’s because they’re always in some sort of trouble with the administration.
This much is known: a new Tree is chosen every year (since 1984) following a grueling selection process called Tree Week. Details of this year’s process are sketchy, but some witnesses report seeing students in banana costumes running around campus.
Here’s an excerpt from a story I did for Deadspin in 2009 on what occurs during Tree Week:
In keeping with the secretive tendencies of the Band and the Tree, Strange declined to describe all of his stunts in order to keep the intrigue alive. His largest and final stunt had him dressed up in a gorilla suit as “Shu Kong” and be chased around by friends with torches and pitchforks. Against a backdrop of machine fog and red lights, he was “captured” by the angry mob and welded into a cage ball that he had constructed earlier.
Congratulations, new Stanford Tree.
And now, the seven greatest moments in Stanford Tree history.