Toomer’s Oaks cleaning changes to save poisoned trees - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Toomer’s Oaks cleaning changes to save poisoned trees

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) – Caretakers of the poisoned Toomer's oaks tell News Leader 9 the fragile trees handled this weekend's celebration remarkably well.

It took Auburn football fans less than an hour to blanket the trees with toilet paper after the Tiger's victory but it took work crews nearly 18 hours to remove the paper by hand.

Auburn University fans celebrated two victories over the weekend. A last minute comeback victory on the gridiron and an emotional victory of sorts as thousands of Auburn fans gathered at Toomer's Corner to roll their beloved oak trees for the first time since Auburn police say an Alabama fan deliberately tried to poison and kill that beloved tradition.

Nick Moore, Auburn University Sophomore, says "It was like winning two games in one day. First that amazing last minute fourth quarter comeback win and then everyone came up here to roll the trees that have faced so much adversity and we have faced so much adversity."

Saturday, fans witnessed a decades old tradition live on in the hearts of Auburn University as they stood in the heart of downtown Auburn and rolled the oaks at Toomer's Corner.

"It was great atmosphere it was like it was always maybe better, everyone was pumped up and I would say it was just really intense and the trees were covered in white which looks great and that's the way we like it," said Wes Ratcliff.

It took fans less than an hour to blanket the trees with toilet paper.  Gary Keever, who's in charge of Auburn Universities Tree Task force, says it took work crews 18 hours to remove the celebration by hand.

"That happened on Sunday and finished up on Monday. It was more time consuming than using high pressured water hoses but I feel like they did a good job, says Keever.

Auburn University experts cannot say if the trees will live, in fact they have said it's a small chance, but Auburn fans tell News Leader 9 they plan on enjoying this tradition of their beloved toilet paper and oaks for as long as they can.

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