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Experts not ready to say Toomer’s oaks are ‘definitely not going to make it’

Auburn Trees Poisoned AP

It’s been a little over six months since Alabama “fan” Harvey Updyke allegedly poisoned Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner oaks, and it’s been thought for most of that time that it was a matter when, not if, the trees would succumb to the chemicals criminally placed into the soil.

While that may still ultimately be the case, the trees are still among the living.  And one expert who’s helped save them sounds slightly optimistic that they’ll continue to be around to be rolled following a Tigers win.  Or, at least, slightly more optimistic than people have been over the past half year.

Because of the poison, the trees are going through, the Associated Press writes, cycles of sprouting and shedding leaves, with the leaves that have been examined showing signs of the herbicide Updyke allegedly used.  Auburn horticulturalist Gary Keever said that there are some positive signs seen of late, but the trees are far from out of the woods, so to speak.

“I don’t want to give a sense of false hope, but we’re not ready to say they’re definitely not going to make it,” Keever told the AP.

“After the yellowing, browning and dropping off, the buds break out again and new, immature leaves will form. It’s good that they still have the stored food reserves to do this.”

In fact, the trees are doing so much better that there’s a possibility that the rolling of Toomer’s Corner — i.e. TPing the trees — could possibly be permitted this year.

Updyke pleaded not guilty in May to two felony counts of first-degree criminal mischief, two felony counts for unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility and two misdemeanor counts of desecrating a venerated object.  He had been scheduled to go to trial on the charges this month, but his court date has been pushed back until later this year.

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8 Responses to “Experts not ready to say Toomer’s oaks are ‘definitely not going to make it’”
  1. edgy says: Jul 4, 2011 6:22 PM

    Good news for Auburn fans. Hey, HAPPY 4th (belch). :)

  2. florida727 says: Jul 4, 2011 8:08 PM

    “Updyke pleaded not guilty in May to two felony counts of first-degree criminal mischief, two felony counts for unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility and two misdemeanor counts of desecrating a venerated object.”
    ——————————————————–
    This is what I’ll never get about our legal system. I understand it, I’ll just never “get” it. The guy admitted ON A TV INTERVIEW that he did it, but he’s pleading NOT guilty. No wonder our court system is so backed up.

    Along with “edgy”, Happy 4th everyone. Stay safe…

  3. paulbrownsrevenge says: Jul 5, 2011 1:45 AM

    The Trees will probably only get “tee peed” 3 times this year.

  4. paulbrownsrevenge says: Jul 5, 2011 1:47 AM

    If the trees die, cut them into kindling, and have some nutjob fan use it to burn down something bama fans love.

  5. stairwayto7 says: Jul 5, 2011 10:00 AM

    ITS A TREE PEOPLE! Should be more worried about losing the national title trophy than a tree!

  6. Spencer says: Jul 5, 2011 10:01 AM

    Hopefully the trees survive and the unhinged sidewalk fan goes to jail.

  7. buckybadger says: Jul 5, 2011 2:33 PM

    Hopefully the trees will make it and the tradition can go on with those oaks. Is this the worse thing that could happen? No but it still a heinous act done by a sick individual.

  8. southernpatriots says: Jul 7, 2011 11:40 PM

    We viewed the trees along with life long friends and Auburn alums recently. The trees look healthy with much work continuing by the experts to keep them alive. One Auburn staff member interrupted his work to tell us that they may not know the disposition of the trees for several more years but signs at this time look encouraging.

    The nutcase’s attorney should plea him out to receive much needed mental care and save the tay payers the cost of the trial.

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