February 17th, 2011
10:59 AM ET

Auburn University's iconic oak trees poisoned, will likely die

For decades, the live oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner have hosted myriad celebrations following wins by the Tigers football team. Police block off the nearby intersection as fans frolic in the street, hurling rolls of toilet paper into the trees until the entire corner looks as if  it was hit by a snowstorm.

But the tradition may soon end, at least for these particular trees.

Last month, a professed University of Alabama fan - upset after the Tigers' 28-27 comeback victory over the Crimson Tide in November - called a nationally syndicated sports-talk radio show in Birmingham to boast that he had poisoned the trees. He said he used the herbicide Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron.

Auburn University conducted tests after the January 27 phone call and confirmed Wednesday that lethal doses of Spike 80DF had indeed been applied to the soil around the trees. There is little chance the 130-year-old trees will survive, according to a university statement.

Read CNN's full coverage of the poisoning of Auburn's trees at Toomer's Corner.
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Filed under: Alabama • College football • Crime • Environment • Sports
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. raven

    I think its sick that people have to destroy something important to others because theyre unhappy or angry. It made me sick to hear him in that phone call say 'Do I care?' when he was asked if he knew it was illegal. If he doesnt care I say nail him ,maybe he'll care about THAT.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    Oh please! know how to draw good from evil. Take the wood from poisoned the trees and build victory benches or a campus bar and grill call it the Alabama Stump...

    February 18, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. ed bailey

    In utah, the authorities won't spend a penny investigating reports of large cases of public poisoning that include fatalities. Southeners care more about their trees than the mormons do about people!

    February 18, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Barbara

    For those of you who haven't seen the link on facebook yet!!! http://www.facebook.com/#!/TideforToomers

    It shows the true nature of Tide fans! It also shows how two of the biggest rivals can join for one cause!
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/TideforToomers

    February 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
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