The Toomer’s Oaks have made it through the flames before, but Sunday morning’s fire was the first the trees have endured since being poisoned in late 2010. And they apparently didn’t endure it very well.
From a Mon. afternoon post to the AU’s official Toomer’s Oaks update page:
The Oaks at Toomer’s Corner were damaged by fire early Sunday morning. Members of the Trees Task Force examined the trees Monday morning and found significant damage to both oaks and to several plants adjacent to the plaza. The Trees Task Force will post an update about the fire damage next week. The Auburn Police Division is investigating the incident.
Due to its heavy bark “live oak is typically a species that does withstand fire pretty well,” says AU Horticulture professor Dr. Joe Eakes. “But anytime you’ve got plants in that kind of stress, any kind of detrimental action, be it drought or fire or whatever, they’d certainly be more susceptible to problems.”
Sunday’s incident was the second time in just over two years the oaks have caught fire after being rolled. The blaze that engulfed the toilet paper left in the trees after the 2010 Auburn-Georgia game was actually the result of three separate fire incidents.
The oaks also caught fire after the 2007 Iron Bowl (video).
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