A new life for the Toomer's Oaks - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

A new life for the Toomer's Oaks, surveyors ensure legacy

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By Mackenzie Patterson - email

AUBURN, AL(WTVM) -  Despite the fact that the Toomer's Corner Oaks were poisoned, land surveyors are working to make sure future folks know what the landmark trees at the famous corner look like now, while the trees are still alive.

Peggy Pendergrass made the trek from North Alabama to take these pictures to help her always remember the Toomer's Oaks.

"With them being damaged we felt like we wanted to take pictures now and hopefully be able to continue to take pictures of them if they survive."

Pendergrass is not alone.  Auburn University is taking the steps to also preserve the Toomer's Oaks with three dimensional models.

Land surveyors from Marshall McLeod PLS, LLC in Mobile donated their time and efforts to Auburn to capture exactly what the famous 130 year old oak trees look like today.

A scanner takes hundreds of thousands of data points from each surface per second.

Lynda Burkett is the owner and general manager of this group.

"The scanner takes a scan of the targets as well as a scan of the area and then the scans are meshed together that's called registering," said Burkett.

The end result is a 3D digital model that is accurately scaled to the real trees.  This process is normally used by architects and engineers to obtain dimensions for buildings.  However, Paul Holley, a faculty member at Auburn's School of Building Sciences, explained to News Leader Nine that such a model can help Auburn move forward if the trees die.

"Nobody's real sure what the University would do whether that would be replacing the trees of perhaps some sort of man-made sculptural representation," said Holley.

He also explained that the scans will have education benefits because students might have access to them in the classroom.

"It's actually not just about trees.  It's about all of the building and man-made things around the Toomer's Corner Intersection," said Holley.

Holley stressed that the University still is not losing hope that the trees will continue to live.

For Pendergrass and other Auburn Fans, this process is just one more reassurance that somehow their favorite tradition will live on.

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