The latest update on the Toomer’s Oaks doesn’t make for fun reading.
According to an AU release issued late Friday afternoon, the recent pruning of the oaks’ branches will leave the trees “aesthetically dead if not actually dead” and talk of replacing the trees has now moved beyond the hypothetical, though the process “wouldn’t begin for another 6-18 months depending upon the size of the new trees.”
According to the release, a new committee—the AU Tree Preservation Committee (TPC)—will soon make a recommendation to AU president Dr. Jay Gogue whether remediation efforts should continue or whether the university should move forward in replacing the oaks.
The TPC’s current charge is to:
- Determine and make a recommendation as to what species of oak should be used to replace the current Toomers’ oaks. The replacement tree or trees will most likely be overcup oaks.
- Determine the size of the tree that should be transplanted to Toomer’s Corner. If the decision is made to use nursery-grown trees that have been root-pruned during production, replacement trees could be dug before they begin to form new leaves in spring 2013, typically around mid- to late March, and planted after all contaminated soil beneath the plaza and extending into Samford Park is removed. If the decision is to replace the trees with one or more larger overcup oaks from the landscape, trees will be root-pruned eight to 12 months before they are dug.
- 3. Once 1 and 2 are complete, identify or develop a process by which candidate trees to be transplanted can be identified.
- 4. Depending on the candidate trees, develop a plan for preparing the tree(s) for transplanting by root pruning or other appropriate methods.
- 5. Monitor the health of the existing Toomers Oaks, and once dead, give some advice on how long the tree will remain structurally sound, so they can remain in place and continue to be rolled.
The university announced in January that the Toomer’s Oaks could be rolled come fall but now says that rollings “may be temporarily stopped” if the remaining—and deteriorating—branches are deemed hazardous to fans.
Here are other photos of the branches recently removed from the oaks.
“The long-term outlook for the trees is not good.”
AU officials say they are moving forward with plans to turn the wood from the Toomer’s Oaks into souvenirs but that “the trees will not come down until they’re dead.”
Related: On the feasibility of a Toomer’s Corner transplant
More on the the Toomer’s Oaks: Wire system being considered as temporary solution for rolling Toomer’s / Toomer’s Corner rollings didn’t start with Punt, Bama, Punt, says History / Did Auburn students celebrate Bear Bryant’s death by rolling Toomer’s Corner
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My family and I have talked it over a few times, and wouldn’t it be cool to roll the trees on the corner right outside of the player entrance to the stadium? That way it’s closer to the stadium and who knows, players could even get involved in the tradition!
TIme to cut em down. Turn the page and lets move forward….
If I weren’t of sound mind and a pacifist, Harvey Updyke would be a paraplegic with an AU branded on his face.
Although I hope Updyke gets what’s coming to him, I doubt the judicial system is able to give him any punishment that will soothe my soul (or the collective soul of the Auburn Family).
Oaks grow slowly. I hope Auburn is able to obtain some that are sizable so that the rolling tradition isn’t itself changed in any prolonged way.
Fortunately, there are other trees, shrubs, and inanimate objects at Toomers Corner that can be rolled in the meantime.
What ever happened in the case against Updyke?
Carole Poole says
I have a great idea for the trees. Who should I send it to?
Sadly, I agree with Michael. Dig them up. Replace them. Move on.
@ Andrea I believe Updyke’s trial has been moved to sometime in the middle of the fall.
It’s time to accept the inevitable and move on. The trees themselves will be gone, but the tradition will continue.
Well, as a TRUE Alabamian, and a true “I picked Alabama, not Auburn” at birth (as we know each child born in the State must declare by the age of 7), I am ashamed what this IMPOSTER BANDWAGON Jumping fool who decided he was an Alabama fan after moving here from TEXAS, where their teams all SUCK as we will see when Texas A&M overtakes Ole Miss and Vandy at the BOTTOM of their division, but getting back to these trees, I feel so bad that this happened, and was completely unwarranted, nor condoned by TRUE BLUE Alabama fans. We have our fun slamming on your poor Auburn folks, but going so far as to do what Updyke did is crossing the line, and we stand with you that he deserves some judge’s wisdom of perfect justice for this slimebag, even if they can’t put him in prison so he could have his stool pushed in a few times, even for a short time, but I hope he is creative in making this jackass rue the day he ever did what he did. I hope the tradition continues, whenever Auburn wins a game. Hopefully, the trees won’t need to be rolled this year as Auburn goes 0-11 lol….(kidding) but seriously, this action crossed the line, and since the act was done in our name, on behalf of the true blue Alabama fans (those born in the State), I hope I speak for all of us that we stand with you against this Updick, and hope he gets a creative, very good sentence that make him regret what he did.
Roll Tide baby…and WDE (when not playing Alabama)