The oak trees at Toomer’s Corner on the campus of Auburn University, which are ceremoniously covered in toilet paper (or “rolled”) after each Tigers win, are scheduled to be removed, more than two years after they were poisoned by Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr. after the 2010 Iron Bowl between the two schools.
AL.com reports that the trees will be “rolled” one final time after the annual A-Day spring game on April 20.
After Cam Newton and Auburn defeated the Crimson Tide en route to a national title in 2010, the now 63-year-old Updyke allegedly poisoned the iconic trees with a type of herbicide then called into an Alabama radio station months later to brag about his crime.
He was indicted on one count of first-degree criminal mischief and is scheduled to stand trial on April 8. If convicted, he can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
After discovering the poisoning in February 2011, Auburn employed “a task force made up of university horticulturists, landscapers, agronomists, engineers, chemists and others,” to attempt to cure the trees, according to the school’s website, but the effort ultimately proved unsuccessful.
In place of the oaks, the school plans to build a new structure so that students may continue the postgame ritual of rolling Toomer’s Corner.
“We want people to be upbeat about the future of this area,” Debbie Shaw, Auburn University vice president for alumni affairs and executive director of the Auburn Alumni Association, said in a statement. “Rolling the corner is a uniquely Auburn tradition, and whether we roll trees or other structures, the camaraderie and sense of togetherness is part of what makes Auburn a special place.”
Photo via Facebook/Auburn University