Toomer’s Oaks Off Limits This Fall
PRESS RELEASE: AUBURN UNIVERSITY
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn University officials are asking fans not to roll the new Auburn Oaks at Toomer’s Corner this football season because the trees aren’t fully established, but they welcome fans to enjoy the tradition by rolling designated trees next to the corner.
The university has specified an oak and two magnolias in front of Biggin Hall and four oaks on College Street for rolling. After athletic wins, Auburn fans gather at the corner of Magnolia Avenue and College Street to roll trees with toilet paper—one of the nation’s most-recognized college traditions.
The university planted the two new Auburn Oaks in February as part of its commitment to having vibrant trees on the corner for the Auburn Family. The previous trees were replaced due to a fire that damaged one of the trees last season.
“The new Auburn Oaks are healthy but fragile, requiring intense monitoring and care as they become established,” said Alex Hedgepath, university arborist. “They are smaller than the previous trees and have a diameter of 11-12 inches and a height of 30-35 feet. They are taking root better and should establish quicker because they are slightly smaller.”
University officials are also asking fans not to roll the 10 smaller oaks lining the walkway from Toomer’s Corner to Samford Hall. Those 16-year-old oaks were cultivated from acorns from the original trees, a project managed by Auburn’s Forestry Club and Wildlife Society. Donors have the opportunity to name the special trees as a way to raise funds for scholarships in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
A map showing which trees can be rolled is available at http://aub.ie/2017OaksPlan. More information about the descendant oaks and the scholarship plan is available at http://sfws.auburn.edu/auburn-oaks/.
The famed, original Auburn Oaks were found to have been poisoned in early 2011. The university attempted to save the trees, but had to remove them once it was determined they would not survive. Two new trees were transplanted in 2015. The oak on Magnolia Avenue did not survive the move, so it was replaced a few months later by the tree that was subsequently damaged by the fire in September 2016.
“We are pleased that fans can still enjoy the rolling tradition,” said Hedgepath.
(Written by Charles Martin.)