As far as college rivalries go, Auburn versus Alabama is as intense as they come. Duking it out on the football field, basketball court or in the natatorium is certainly appropriate. Furthermore, good old fashioned pranks are part of the college experience. However, poisoning 130-year-old trees is no laughing matter. That’s exactly what happened at Toomer’s Corner on the Auburn University campus. Toomer’s Corner is a site of celebration after Auburn football victories – students throw toilet paper on the trees which, in its own right, is an odd way to treat trees that you love so dearly. Now, however, thanks to vandals, these centenarian trees may be on their last
Sports Illustrated reported on their website that police have arrested a suspect. The man was a caller on a local radio station who claimed that he poisoned the trees with a potent herbicide after Auburn beat Alabama in this year’s edition of their annual Iron Bowl football game. The caller – and self-professed tree murderer – said that he poisoned the trees and signed off call with “Roll Damn Tide,” a more aggressive iteration of Alabama’s Roll Tide chant.
Whether you’re an Auburn supporter, a high school student looking at potential colleges or just someone who loves trees, if you had plans to head to the university to see the old oaks in Toomer’s Corner, I suggest you do so in the very near future (or view them on the Toomer’s Corner live webcam). Scientists are, sadly, not optimistic about the fate of the trees.
Let’s support our teams in healthy ways, folks. Paint your faces, cheer until you’re hoarse or tailgate with as much barbecue as you can load into your pickup truck. But let’s not kill anything, human or otherwise. OK?