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Stumped: Brooklyn College student and member of the Friends of the East-Quad Stumps group is petitioning the college to perserve the stumps of the school’s 14 elderly Siberian elm trees, which the college plans on cutting down in order to prevent falling branches from squishing students and professors.
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These students are begging to be stumped.

Brooklyn College is sharpening its axe and preparing to chop down more than a dozen dying Siberian Elms on the Flatbush campus. Alumni and students don’t mind the arborcide, but they want college brass to preserve the stumps for students’ rumps or sell naming rights to well-heeled alumni, according to one graduate who’s stumping for the tree stubs.

“I think they can use the stumps as little benches, and they might be able to raise some money by naming the stumps,” said Cy Adler, a member of Friends of the East-Quad Stumps and a Class of 1950 alumnus.

Siberian Elms are handsome but short-lived — they only thrive for about 60-years in the American Northeast’s temperate climate, according to activists. And that’s exactly how old Brooklyn College’s clutch of venerable, leafy Siberian immigrants turned this year, they said. Now the aging trees are quickly transforming from charming additions to the college campus’s East Quadrangle, into crazed, would-be murderers that could kill a man — or two — with ease, preservationists said.

“These Brooklyn College elms, planted over 60 years ago, have matured to heights of over sixty feet,” a press release from the group states. “A falling branch could easily kill a professor or two.”

Man and tree have been locked in battle from time immemorial, and trees – desiring vengeance above all else — have mounted a particularly vicious campaign on humanity since Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters rotted their roots in 2012.

To preempt the blood-thirsty trees, the school will rip them out by their roots. It’s a more expensive procedure than merely chopping them at the base, and stump activists want the school to save a little green by leaving the trunks behind.

“I think they can save a lot of money, because pulling out stumps and getting rid of them is expensive,” Adler said.

But Brooklyn College brass have given the group the runaround, bouncing it among various school departments in search of an answer, another arboreal activist said.

“We’ve definitely tried to get in contact with a bunch of different people,” said student Dom Famularo. “It’s been bounced around and we haven’t been able to sit down with anybody yet.”

Brooklyn College did not provide a comment.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 12:00 am, October 14, 2015
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