The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 23, 2013

Auburn to remove poisoned oaks at Toomer's Corner


Associated Press

— AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University's poisoned oak trees will soon come down, bringing an end to an era and a drastic change to the landscape.

City crews will begin work early Tuesday removing the landmark oaks, which are all but dead after being poisoned by a rabid fan of the University of Alabama.

Harvey Updyke Jr. is serving a jail term after pleading guilty to spiking the oaks with a powerful herbicide, and experts say they can't be saved.

So workers will use chainsaws and heavy equipment to remove what's left of the once-lush hardwoods at Toomer's Corner.

Auburn fans traditionally roll the trees with toilet paper after a big victory, and tens of thousands rolled the trees after the spring football game last Saturday.