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Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's a Sad Day at Auburn...

My heart is filled with sadness....
My mind is filled with anger.....

Today I learned that the beautiful and beloved oak trees of Toomer's Corner, found at the main corner of the Auburn University campus, were sabotaged. These 130 year old oak trees have been the point of celebrations and spirit for the students of Auburn University for over 100 years. 


There are always rivalries between colleges, and there are pranks pulled all the time. But rarely are there truly malicious deeds done against one school or another. However, this year, after the Iron Bowl (Auburn vs. Alabama), a disgruntled fan (I think this person must be mentally unstable) drove to Auburn and "exposed the trees to a very lethal dose of tebuthiuron", an herbicide used to kill trees. Soil tests around the trees show that 65 times the recommended dose of this herbicide was applied...  Not only are the old oaks likely to die, this poison moves through the soil and pose a danger to all the plants and oaks in the area. And it remains in the soil for 3-5 years.


This same individual called a radio station in Birmingham, to proudly announce the deed...ending his call with "Roll Damn Tide". 


Rivalries are fine...and indeed, embraced. It's a part of the whole college experience. But malicious, ne criminal acts are totally out of line! There is NO REASON for acts of this kind.


Every possible measure is being taken to save these trees.  The university (which has one of the best horticulture programs in the country) is working with the chemical company which produces this herbicide, to lessen the damage. Huge trenches have been dug and filled with charcoal to leach the poison from the ground. All we can do is pray...


Tonight, thousands are gathered around the oaks...rolling them once again. Chants of
War Eagle" are heard, as is the Auburn fight song. This is not due to a victory, but in support of the spirit these trees have represented to the student body of Auburn for many, many years. 



My heart cries...as do the hearts of Auburn fans all over the world. All we can do is hope that these trees are tough enough to survive...
This is the sight after the BCS championship game. Many celebrations were cancelled due to the weather, but THOUSANDS gathered to celebrate with a pep rally at Toomer's Corner. (photo from flickr)



15 comments:

Catherine M. said...

http://www.auburnalabama.org/cams/Toomers/Default.aspx

You watch in live time of toomers corner, Check back in the day to see more!

Jo said...

Criminal!...just pure crime at it's worse, I hate this,...WHY?, would anyone want to be that stupid.
~Jo
LazyonLoblolly

becky said...

Oh, my!! This is tragic! SICK. I hope everything works out to save the trees.

Keetha Broyles said...

I'm not a fan of ANY form of practical joke as they seem to ALWAYS go too far and someone or something precious is damaged.

This doesn't seem a practical joke to me - - - it seems to be outright sabotage.

Ms. Bake-it said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ms. Bake-it said...

I cannot even find words to describe how I feel about this senseless crime. I pray Updyke gets more than a slap on the wrist! And to think that he is a retired Texas State Trooper!

~ Tracy

Candace said...

That is just tragic. I'm so sad....

Anonymous said...

im not a fan in any way of auburn. im actually a clemson fan. but this is just sad. im a huge fan of rivalry and harmless pranks are fun but this is just sad. it's destroying a great schools heritage. updyke needs more than just jailtime.

Kat said...

This makes me so sad. A crazy poisoned Treaty Oak in Austin in 89. This was a 500 year old live oak, that had a branch spread of 127 feet. Efforts started immediately to save it, and in 97 it produced it's first crop of acorns. The tree survived, although it has had to be pruned to about 1/3 of it's original size. So there is hope for these beloved trees at Toomer's Corner. This was not a harmless prank, this was a disgusting criminal act and I hope that he is prosecuted to the fullest. Kat

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

What a bitter, awful thing to do! I'm praying those oaks survive as well!

jmac said...

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! True..that had to be a sad, sad MAD day. So unfair for one crazed individual to take, in his own hands, away something that nature provided to the university. And then to be "proud" of it??? He deserves everything that will come his way...and believe me, those auburn fans will make him pay the price.
Man, oh man.....destroy something you make yourself but don't go messing with natures creations.

Shellbelle said...

This makes me incredibly mad and sad. Destroying something in nature because of a team rivalry? There is NEVER an excuse to destroy something so beautiful and this criminal is just beyond ridiculous. I hope they through the book at him, one made from a really strong tree!

Diann said...

How sad and vile! How can someone think something like this is a "prank"? This is pure disgrace! I am so sorry to hear about this.

Trebbe Johnson said...

Does anyone know of an Auburn student, teacher, or alum who would like to do a ceremony for these beautiful trees? Our non-profit organization, Radical Joy for Hard Times, is a network of people who make beauty at wounded places. We would love to work with someone at Auburn to do something for these trees... and all the people who have loved them. Contact Trebbe Johnson at gmail.com

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I am an Alabama fan, and I have never been embarrassed until now. Although I am an Alabama alumna, I have family and friends who attended Auburn, and I have spent many fun weekends there. My heart aches for the Auburn Nation!

PS I am your newest follower!