They’re not going to draw it out—the Toomer’s Oaks will be removed within the first or second week after the April 20th final rolling celebration. But the process itself will not be quick.
“It’s not like an event you watch and then the tree is gone,” says Debbie Shaw, Vice President of Auburn Alumni Affairs. “This is a lot of digging, a lot of very unattractive work that will go on for a few days. That’s part of why we decided to (have a final rolling celebration) on A-Day, we learned this was not going to be a stand around and watching them take the trees down.”
To remove the oaks (“They’ll probably taken down in pieces”), Dan King, Auburn University’s Assistant Vice President for Facilities, says the university will likely contract with Asplundh, the company that oversaw an initial pruning of the trees in last year. King says the removal of some of the oaks’ roots will “definitely cause part of the road to be dug up at some point.”
Every piece of wood cut down will eventually be turned into souvenirs, the proceeds from which Shaw says will go entirely toward student scholarships.
Shaw says whichever company Auburn chooses to produce the souvenirs will have to be on the scene of the removal to oversee the wood’s preservation; the wood already removed from the tree is currently being kept in a shipping container on Auburn’s campus.
“Whatever (types of souvenirs) it ends up being, we want the price points to make it an item that many people can own.”
Details of the block party won’t be finalized until a time is set for Auburn’s A-Day game. “But we are expecting to have a band and the whole downtown will be blocked off,” Shaw says.
“We’ll involved the city and downtown Auburn businesses and we’ve chosen to really make it about celebrating the tradition, not leaning toward sadness for the trees but to really celebrate the great tradition that we have and that will continue.”
Getty photo via.
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