The Atlantic Cities

A municipal arborist whittled this damaged tree into a street chair for the neighborhood.

A couple months ago, a strong windstorm blowing through San Francisco damaged a street tree in the Lower Haight. With a large, raw scar running down its side, the stricken tree was soon marked with a "removal" sign from the city's public-works department.

Well, that cut-down recently happened, and the results are easy on the eyes but more importantly, also the butt. Rather than slice through the trunk to make a flat slab, this tree's executioner carved a wee chair into the wood. Now weary travelers prepping for an uphill slog can take a load off at the corner of Oak and Scott streets – with no extra cost to the city for providing sidewalk furniture, and only the slightest chance that sitters will get an earwig up the pants.

I asked Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, if whittling fanciful chairs out of stumps was official policy. "While this is not typical, the cut was done by one of our artistic-minded employees," she says. "We have very talented arborists who can make beautiful benches and little chairs out of trees. Eventually, the stump will get ground out and a new tree will be planted, but for now, the creative bench can be enjoyed by neighbors."

Gordon adds that this particular stump-chair "wasn’t the first," although she didn't have the locations of others immediately at hand. I found this other likely suspect at Laguna and Fell streets – anybody else spotted these bio-seats around San Francisco?

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Smoke from the fires hangs over Brazil.
    Environment

    Why the Amazon Is on Fire

    The rash of wildfires now consuming the Amazon rainforest can be blamed on a host of human factors, from climate change to deforestation to Brazilian politics.

  2. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  3. a map of London Uber driver James Farrar's trip data.
    Transportation

    For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power

    Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

  4. Maps

    The Children’s Book Map That Led Me Out of Depression

    As a child, I loved the fantastical lands from The Phantom Tollbooth. As a troubled college student, I used them as a roadmap to self-acceptance.

  5. Graduates react near the end of commencement exercises at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
    Life

    Which U.S. Cities Have the Most Educated Populations?

    Even though superstar hubs top the list of the most educated cities, other cities are growing their share at a much faster rate.

×