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Infamous college football villain Harvey Updyke poisoned the fabled oak trees at Auburn University in late 2010. The arborists at the university did their best to keep the trees alive, but ultimately had to remove them once it was determined they would not survive.
Two new trees were transplanted in 2015. They were replaced again two years later after catching fire.
As Auburn worked to keep the new trees healthy and thriving, one of the best traditions in sports was put on pause. Tigers fans were asked not to roll Toomer’s Corner — until now!
Auburn’s campus and the City of Auburn meet on the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue. Also on that corner sits Toomer’s Drugs, hence the name Toomer’s Corner.
That is where it all began.
Toomer’s Drugs had the only telegraph in the city back in the day. So when employees at the local pharmacy received news of a Tigers win at an away game, they would throw the ticker tape onto the power lines at the intersection to alert the community.
Eventually, many (unknown) years later, the ticker tape became toilet paper and the power lines became the oak trees. Rolling Toomer’s Corner was born.
With every Auburn win, Tigers fans would throw toilet paper onto the trees.
The tradition continued until Updyke, and then a fire, killed the trees.
Fans were asked not to throw toilet paper into the two large oak trees as recently as 2021.
The goal was to preserve their health. The trees weren’t ready.
In lieu of rolling the two main trees, Auburn fans rolled other trees in the area.
They will not longer have to make due!
The university announced on Tuesday that the two main oak trees are ready to roll. Rather, they are ready to be rolled.
After six years of being forced to adapt, Auburn fans can throw toilet paper all over the oak tress until they run out of toilet paper. Shoutout to the arborists!
Both trees have made excellent progress since planting took place six years ago and are now considered to have recovered from transplant stress. Because of the Auburn Family’s commitment, the trees are now established and can withstand rolling and cleanup efforts after Auburn athletic victories. With continued care, we expect the trees to grow vigorously and become further established.— Alex Hedgepath, Auburn University arborist
Although the trees are healthy enough for toilet paper, they are still on a maintenance and growth program. It involves weekly health checks that includes the measuring of the root system and the monitoring of soil moisture and nutrients.
In fact, the maintenance program will actually ramp up to combat the impact of rolling as well as soil compaction from rolling events. The trees are ready, but they aren’t out of the woods just yet.
For now, in fall of 2023 at the very least, the rolling may commence!