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Toomer Corner Oaks Being Cut Down

Auburn’s famed Toomer’s Corner Oaks will be cut down, an acknowledgment that they’ll never be healthy again after an idiot Alabama fan poisoned them.

ESPN (“Toomer’s Corner Oaks coming down“):

Auburn University is planning one final roll of the historic Toomer’s Corner Oaks this spring before the trees are removed.

The university announced Friday that the last rolling of the beloved trees, a tradition that dates to the 1950s, will take place on April 20 following the Tigers’ spring game. Auburn football fans traditionally roll the trees with toilet paper after a win.

The school has not set a specific date to take down the poisoned oaks.

“The Oaks at Toomer’s Corner have been a part of Auburn tradition for generations,” Debbie Shaw, Auburn University vice president for alumni affairs and executive director of the Auburn Alumni Association, said in a statement. “Their removal will in no way diminish the Auburn Spirit, which has grown even stronger during these past two years.”

Harvey Updyke, a lifelong Alabama fan, was charged with poisoning the trees during Auburn’s run to the national championship in the 2010 football season.

Updyke, who has yet to stand trial due to numerous delays, has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to charges that include criminal mischief and desecrating a venerable object. The next trial date is set for April 8.

While they’re ultimately just some trees, it’s really a shame that the tradition has been ruined by a spiteful moron.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. Don says:

    I agree, he shamed all Alabama graduates and fans with such a spiteful act…my apologies to the Auburn nation!

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  2. Rafer Janders says:

    Updyke was caught because he called into a talk radio show and bragged about poisoning the trees. Not exactly a genius there….

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  3. James Joyner says:

    @Rafer Janders: Not much doubt about that. He’s a pretty pathetic individual.

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  4. Janis Gore says:

    I have oaks, and the thought that someone could poison them makes me sick.

    Someone also poisoned the Treaty Oak in Austin, TX.

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  5. Argon says:

    I feel the same way about good governance vs. McCain.

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  6. Janis Gore says:

    What kind of thinking makes you take it out on plants?

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  7. Janis Gore says:

    I know the answer to that that question. It’s called “Agent Orange.”

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  8. Tony W says:

    desecrating a venerable object

    I was not aware of this particular offense in the statutes, I will have to look it up. I wonder what else qualifies?

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  9. Tony W says:

    @Tony W: Okay, that did not take long:

    (a) A person commits the crime of desecration of venerated objects if he intentionally:

    (1) Desecrates any public monument or structure or place of worship or burial; or

    (2) Desecrates in a public place the United States or Alabama flag or any other object of veneration by the public or a substantial segment thereof.

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  10. aFloridian says:

    This event was an embarrassment to the entire state of Alabama. Shame the oaks had to be a casualty of a sports rivalry.

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