AUBURN, Ala. (WHTN) – After two years of extraordinary efforts to save the poisoned Auburn Oaks at Toomer’s Corner, Auburn University plans to remove them on April 23, weather permitting.
The final opportunity for fans to roll the beloved Auburn Oaks will follow the A-Day football game April 20 when the university and City of Auburn host a “Celebrate the Tradition” block party.
“The university’s Tree Preservation Committee does not believe the trees will survive despite the extensive work the university and others have done to keep them alive,” said Ron Booth, director of project management in Auburn University Facilities Management. “The decaying wood is a safety issue, and the only option we have at this point is to remove them.”
Auburn University is working with two renowned firms – Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and jB+a – to develop a landscape master plan for potential redevelopment of Samford Park at Toomer’s Corner. The firms have received significant input from Auburn students, alumni, employees and others. The final design will be unveiled at the block party on April 20.
The work scheduled for April 23 only involve cutting the trees into sections and removing them to a storage facility before the wood is turned into commemorative souvenirs
“Last Friday the decision was made to only cut down the trees and not go into the earth, which we talked before about having to be a two week process,” says Debbie Shaw, Vice President of Auburn Alumni Affairs. “Doing this makes total sense because of the new landscaping (at Toomer’s Corner) which will start after this football season is when they’re going to be making a mess anyway..
The “Celebrate the Tradition” event will begin at 5 p.m. in the College Street and Magnolia Avenue intersection. The event will feature well-known Auburn speakers, a spirit rally, music from the band Kidd Blue and one final rolling of the iconic oaks. The event is open to everyone.