Toomer's Corner trees continue decline - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Toomer's Corner trees continue decline

Toomer's Corner on Sept. 23 (Source: Auburn University) Toomer's Corner on Sept. 23 (Source: Auburn University)
AUBURN, AL (WSFA) -

Auburn University says the century-old oak trees marking the entrance to campus, known as the Toomer's Corner Oaks, have continued to steadily decline in health over the summer and into the fall.

Showing signs of their poisoning by a powerful herbicide known as Spike 80DF, the two oaks - and a number of other plants in close proximity to them - are showing signs of decline.

The oaks have entire branches that appear to be dead, and the rest are sparsely covered with green and yellowish-brown leaves. In comparison, an oak tree a little over a block away in front of Funchess Hall is weighted-down with deep-green leaves, the brown coloring of it's branches barely visible.

SLIDESHOW: [Toomer's Corner Trees in September]

Both Toomer's oaks continue their efforts to produce new foliage, but Spike 80DF works by blocking photosynthesis in the leaves, which quickly turn brown and die. The trees attempt to launch new shoots over and over but produce fewer leaves after each time as they burn through food and energy reserves.

Officials say the trees only have about 20 to 30 percent of the foliage in their canopy  compared to in years past. A long-term prognosis is expected by spring.

Barricades continue to block passersby from walking on the soil directly under the trees, but  Auburn has allowed fans the ability to continue the tradition of rolling the trees with toilet paper through the first two home football games of 2011.

The paper is cleaned from the branches by hand, not with high-pressure water hoses as used to be the case. Specialists say there is no evidence to suggest the trees are being harmed by the rolling.

The man accused of poisoning the iconic trees on Auburn's campus, Harvey Updyke, took credit for the poisoning of the trees during a call-in segment of a radio sports show earlier in the year saying it was in retaliation for how Auburn fans have treated Alabama fans in the past.

Updyke is charged with numerous crimes including Criminal Mischief. His trial is scheduled for October 31 in Lee County

INFORMATION/PHOTO SOURCE: Auburn University

Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 3, knocks over walls

    Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 3, knocks over walls

    Sunday, June 17 2018 9:29 PM EDT2018-06-18 01:29:52 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 9:41 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:41:58 GMT
    (Takaki Yajima/Kyodo News via AP). School children take shelter at schoolyard in Ikeda, Osaka, following an earthquake Monday, June 18, 2018.  A strong earthquake has shaken the city of Osaka in western Japan. There are reports of scattered damage incl...(Takaki Yajima/Kyodo News via AP). School children take shelter at schoolyard in Ikeda, Osaka, following an earthquake Monday, June 18, 2018. A strong earthquake has shaken the city of Osaka in western Japan. There are reports of scattered damage incl...

    A strong earthquake shook the city of Osaka in western Japan, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses.

    More >>

    A strong earthquake shook the city of Osaka in western Japan, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses.

    More >>
  • Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

    Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

    Monday, June 18 2018 4:20 AM EDT2018-06-18 08:20:01 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 9:40 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:40:50 GMT
    (Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP). U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration policy and law enforcement actions at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton, Pa., on Friday, June 15, 2018.(Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP). U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration policy and law enforcement actions at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton, Pa., on Friday, June 15, 2018.

    Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

    More >>

    Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

    More >>
  • Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

    Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

    Monday, June 18 2018 5:20 AM EDT2018-06-18 09:20:00 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 9:40 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:40:30 GMT
    In its latest revision to an international disease classification manual, the U.N. health agency said Monday that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will 'serve a public health purpose for countries.' (Source: Pixabay)In its latest revision to an international disease classification manual, the U.N. health agency said Monday that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will 'serve a public health purpose for countries.' (Source: Pixabay)

    The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a new mental health condition, in a move that some critics warn may risk stigmatizing its young players.

    More >>

    The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a new mental health condition, in a move that some critics warn may risk stigmatizing its young players.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly