Auburn University replacing Oaks at Toomer’s Corner
AUBURN, Ala.-Auburn University plans to remove the current Auburn Oaks at Toomer’s Corner and replace them with two new live oaks Saturday, February 18.
Jochen Wiest pleaded guilty to lighting one of the trees on fire following Auburn’s win over LSU September 25. The fire severely damaged the Magnolia Avenue tree.
“The appearance of the tree is unacceptable, and we don’t believe it will recover within a reasonable time period,” said Gary Keever, Auburn University horticulture professor.
University officials decided to replace the College Street tree, too, after finding replacements that match each other in size and appearance.
“The College Street tree has failed to become established as you can see by dead branches at the top. If it had not been for the fire, though, we would have pruned those branches and continued nurturing both trees,” said Keever.
The original Auburn Oaks were found to have been poisoned in early 2011. The university tried to save the trees, but had to remove them once it was ruled they would not survive. Two new trees were transplanted in 2015. The oak on Magnolia was replaced a few months later after not surviving the move.