Alabama Fan Apologizes For Poisoning Auburn’s Famous Toomer’s Corner Oak Trees


Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr., who has been charged with poisoning the oak trees on campus known as the Toomer's Corner Oaks, called into the Paul Finebaum Radio Network on Wednesday to apologize to the "truly Auburn fans" but not the "haters."

The trees, which have been made famous by Auburn fans heaving toilet paper into their branches after victories, are now frail-looking, with leaves that quickly turn brown and yellow instead of showing natural foliage in the fall.

Updyke said he was sorry for "all the hate" and "all the hurt" he caused.

"I just want to tell the Auburn people that I'm truly sorry for all the damage I've done," he said in the call. "I'm not asking for sympathy. All I'm asking is forgiveness. I want the people that's Christians to understand I've done a lot of good in my life. I've never intentionally hurt anybody … until this."

Auburn discovered the poisoning after taking soil samples on Jan. 28, a day after a man calling himself "Al from Dadeville," said he had used the poisonous herbicide on the trees in a call to Finebaum's show.

Updyke has admitted he is "Al from Dadeville," but hasn't admitted that he was the person who actually poisoned the trees. He pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal mischief and desecration of a venerated object. He is now awaiting trial.

The trees are getting special treatment from Auburn, in hopes that they'll pull through. Auburn said this week in a statement on its website that it should know better by the spring if the two poisoned oaks will survive.

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