The question "https://gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/11045/where-do-trees-get-their-shape" seems to be off topic here, and on-topic for Biology Stack Exchange. Are we keeping it simply for trying to expand the user-base? Won't that create problems later, from people trying to ask more of this type of question here, when they see that one?

  • I agree. Biology isn't where people want answers to questions about botany. Trees and their shapes are a critical component to botany. Grin, maybe we don't want to delve into 'evolution'...? Lame.
    – stormy
    Jul 8, 2014 at 0:13
  • @stormy Not quite sure I got that - you're saying botany questions aren't for biology.stackexchange.com? There is a botany tag there.
    – J. Musser
    Jul 8, 2014 at 0:22
  • Why can't we answer that? Aren't we needing more questions?
    – stormy
    Jul 8, 2014 at 0:33
  • 1
    @stormy We do need more questions, but at the same time it's important that we only keep questions that are on-topic for this site. Have you read this page yet? If the topic is not listed under the topic list on this page, it doesn't belong on this site. If you would like to propose a new topic, ask a question about it here on meta, giving your reasons why it would be a good topic for the site.
    – J. Musser
    Jul 8, 2014 at 0:45
  • The question is also off-topic because it is asking for an off-site resource (at least how it's phrased now). I don't know if off-site resources were allowed at the time. I just wanted to point out that it's already been migrated, in case anyone's tempted to try to close it. Sep 8, 2018 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


As I write this, the question has no close votes. None! Instead, it has:

  • two upvotes,
  • no downvotes,
  • a comment from an 8k rep user (you) suggesting migration to Biology.SE, and
  • an upvoted answer from a 14k rep user suggesting migration to Biology.SE

Please, if you think something is off-topic, vote to close it. This sends a much stronger signal than merely leaving a comment, and since it adds the question to the "Close Votes" review queue, it engages other site members in the process of closing it (or not).

We don't have any predefined migration paths set up because we're still a beta site, so suggest migration to Biology.SE in the custom close reason.

close > off-topic because... > Other > something something [biology.se] something something

As a pro-tempore moderator, I'm trusted and empowered to take unilateral action to close off-topic questions, especially if they're actively harmful to the site. But I neither want to nor should I have to do to it all the time. I'm supposed to take my lead from the wishes of the community.

In this case, I thought the question was marginal and would have helped to close it, if it had started to accumulate close votes. However, it's very hard for me to know what to do when people's words and actions are in conflict like they were in this instance.

  • I could have sworn I had voted to close, but sure enough, the count was 0.
    – J. Musser
    Jun 17, 2014 at 1:48
  • Haha, Me teh 8k user... Just saw this post again. Good old days...
    – J. Musser
    Mar 27, 2015 at 22:35

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