[UPDATE: Video of the pruning shot Wednesday morning.]
Toomer’s Corner won’t look the same after Wednesday.
The War Eagle Reader has learned that the Toomer’s Oaks will undergo severe pruning Wednesday to remove dead branches and limbs that could pose a hazard to pedestrians were the limbs to fall.
Work crews removed dead branches from the sick trees in May for similar reasons. The amount to be removed Wednesday will likely be much more significant.
On Monday afternoon, the City of Auburn announced expected lane closures Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street due to “tree maintenance.”
Auburn officials have been prevented from releasing information on the current condition of the oaks due to a gag order on persons involved in the Harvey Updyke case. However, Auburn’s Office of Communications and Marketing is expected to issue a press release with details on the pruning after it’s completed.
The news would seem to indicate that the trees’ chances for survival are even slimmer than they were this spring. In April, the oaks showed new signs of herbicide injury despite previous indicators that their ability to feed themselves was improving.
“It’s probably only going to worsen as we continue on,” Auburn horticulturist Dr. Gary Keever said at the time.
Auburn fans are expected to be allowed to roll the trees this fall.
A July 31 update to AU’s official Toomer’s Oaks updates page, which was temporarily taken down as part of the media gag order, reads: “As the football season draws closer, an announcement will be made regarding the rolling tradition on this website and through traditional and social media channels. We will also provide updates on the trees during the month of August.”
In January, a recommendation by the Committee to Determine the Future of Rolling Toomer’s Corner that one or more large trees replace Toomer’s Oaks if they die was approved by Auburn University president Dr. Jay Gogue.
The trees that will replace the Toomer’s Oaks, which are live oaks, would likely be overcup oaks.
Photo via Jerri Hammonds.
More on the the Toomer’s Oaks: Wire system being considered as temporary solution for rolling Toomer’s / On the feasibility of a Toomer’s Corner transplant / 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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