Tale of the Tree: Columbia Heights Stump Reveals Fascinating Timeline

Two BHB readers alerted us to a bit of dendrochronology happening on Columbia Heights. The stump of a tree cut down near 157 Columbia Heights has been annotated by someone to reveal its approximate origin date (1885) as well as these historical events:

Wright Brothers first flight
WWI begins
Women Get the Vote
Stock Market Crash (1929)
Pearl Harbor
JFK assassination
Moon landing
Star Wars premieres
Fall of Berlin Wall

The tree in happier times in 2013 (Google Streetview)

We would also add Brooklyn Heights becomes a landmarked neighborhood (1965) and, of course, BHB begins publishing (2006). What other Heights events would you add?

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  • Michael Rock

    Interesting that the two pictures have different annotations. Guess our dendrochronollogist was doing it in stages.

  • Lori

    This tree was taken down very recently. A large limb had fallen off a few years ago.

  • GHB

    This tree has been leaning precariously over Columbia Heights for years. I was surprised that it survived Sandy and last winter’s storms.

  • Drew

    This try raped and killed my uncle.

  • ShinyNewHandle

    The tree or the stump?

  • gc


  • Roberto Gautier

    I am happy that a tree got attention, even though the focus came when it was a venerable stump. We should consider protection strategies for trees and serious public education programs that underscore the role urban trees in our survival.They filter the air, provide oxygen for us, cool the city down and give us the pleasure of having contact with nature. Just as people lean precariously and are assisted by canes, couldn’t our dear departed tree have been propped up?

  • BrooklynBugle

    Might have taken out a car, building or person(s) at some point.

  • GHB

    With what? That was a big tree! I love having trees and greenery around, but this one really had to go.

  • Michael Rock

    Does anyone have any idea who labeled the stump? (which sounds like a euphemism) That took some effort.

  • Heightsman

    That tree was my marking point to where the taxi needed to stop to let me out after a long night….

  • ShinyNewHandle

    Get out after a shorter night :(