Auburn plans final rolling of famed oaks

The historic Toomer’s Corner Oaks will be rolled one final time before they are removed.

Auburn University announced the tradition of toilet papering the trees, which dates back to the 1950s, will take place after the spring A-Day football game on April 20.

There has been no date set for the removals of the trees.

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

Alabama fan Harvey Updyke was charged with poisoning the trees after the Tigers’ Iron Bowl win in 2010. The university’s Tree Preservation Committee worked to save the oaks, including trimming them in August, but it wasn’t enough.

Updyke, 64, who has pleaded not guilty by reasons of mental disease or defect, is scheduled to stand trial on April 8. He faces charges that criminal mischief and desecrating a venerable object.

As part of its future landscaping plans, Auburn will create structures at the corners of College Street and Magnolia Avenue to keep the tradition of rolling.

“We want people to be upbeat about the future of this area,” Shaw said. “Rolling the corner is a uniquely Auburn tradition, and whether we roll trees or other structures, the camaraderie and sense of togetherness is part of what makes Auburn a special place.”