AUBURN, Ala. - The tradition of rolling the oak trees on Toomer's Corner will return this football season. It's one of college athletics' best-known traditions.
"This is a tremendous day for the Auburn Family and for all sports fans across the country who love the fall and football," said Ron Booth, executive director of facility operations. "Our hope has been to reinstate rolling this season, and, now, we can make that announcement."
University officials are welcoming 'gentle' rolling of the two oaks by asking fans not to cross the fences encompassing the trees and to not climb on the trees. They are also asking fans not to roll any other trees in Samford Park.
"We are still conscious of making sure the trees stay healthy," said Gary Keever, Auburn University horticulture professor. "We also have water systems in place below the trees and even water pipes to the top that we need to protect. The toilet paper will be removed by hand after each rolling."
The University is asking fans to focus only on the two largest trees on the corner of College Street & Magnolia Avenue. Officials don't want fans to roll any other trees in Samford Park, including the 10 smaller oak trees lining the walkway from Toomer's Corner to Samford Hall as they are not fully-established.
Auburn officials temporarily halted the tradition in 2013 as a result of the original oaks being poisoned in 2011. The university attempted to save the trees, but had to remove them once it was determined they would not survive. Two new large trees were planted in 2015. The oak on Magnolia Avenue did not survive the move, so it was replaced a few months later.
"We appreciate everyone's patience during the past few years," Booth said. "This is a return to one of the greatest traditions in college athletics. We ask that you roll the trees without crossing the fences and not to roll the descendant oaks in Samford Park.
"The Auburn Family can once again enjoy rolling the corner."