Auburn University spent $89,916.74 trying to save the Toomer’s Oaks ($5,700 on soil testing alone), and estimates it will spend $425,780 replacing them. It may get its money back.
The Lee County District Attorney’s Office is asking Harvey Updyke Jr. be ordered to pay approximately $1 million in restitution for the poisoning of the oaks at Toomer’s Corner.
The request, made in a motion filed Wednesday, is based on the cost incurred by Auburn University as it tried to save the oaks and the estimated cost of their planned replacement.
The district attorney’s office argue the amount should be double to $1.042 million under a statute in the Alabama Code that requires anyone convicted of the offense to be required to pay twice the value of the damaged animal or crop for any reasonable costs of replacement.
Updyke’s attorney, 2001 Auburn University graduate Andrew Stanley, plans to file an “appropriate response.”
The oaks were cut down on April 23—at least the portions under ground. Dozens if not hundreds of the oaks’ rhizomic shoots have sprouted up through the mulch in the tree planters in recent weeks.
More on Toomer’s Corner: Dozens of Toomer’s Oaks shoots sprouting in planter closest to Magnolia Ave. / 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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