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Dear Penn: Plant One More Japanese Zelkova, I Dare You


Photo by Ian Ong / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Dear Penn,

Hey, it’s me again. Just writing to let you know that I am positively seething with anger.

I’ve had it up to here with the way you handle your landscaping. Have you ever taken a look around Locust? It’s absolutely teeming with Japanese zelkovas. I would have been fine with one or even two modest saplings, but you guys went way overboard.

Sure, they may be hardy trees with tough bark, perfect for urban spaces. Sure, they may exhibit amazing resistance to Dutch elm disease and the elm leaf beetle. And O.K., fine, I concede — they can withstand a soil pH of up to 7.5.

But let me be clear: I am sick of passing by this pernicious plant every single time I walk through Locust.

Don’t get me wrong: I am so, so grateful for the opportunity to receive a quality education, enjoy nice facilities, and the rest of all that jazz. But there are just way too many goddamn zelkovas. Seriously, there’s like 30 of them.

Give me something new to look at, Penn. 

My tired eyes yearn to see more than zelkova green on my evening run back to Rodin. That's why I'm calling for some real change around campus, right here, right now!

I want begonias, carnations, roses, African lilies that tickle my dainty little feet, hydrangeas, magnolias, daisies, petunias that sway freely under Ben Franklin's reassuring guise, orchids, daffodils, evening primroses, and forget-me-nots which look oh-so-pretty in the morning sun! Ah, to be young again!

Dear Penn, it’s high time you listen to the student body. And by student body, I mean my own personal whims and fancies.

Yours truly,

Zelkova Hater

P.S.: Come on, at least plant a cactus. That would be rad.