Historic oak trees not as old as previously thought - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Historic oak trees not as old as previously thought

Source: Auburn University, The Office of Communications and Marketing Source: Auburn University, The Office of Communications and Marketing
AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

Auburn University history is being re-written as new information surfaces about the historic trees at Toomer's corner.  Experts at the university say historical documents and pictures reveal the trees are not 130 years old but in fact the trees are much younger than originally thought.

A volunteer at the Auburn University library started researching the trees using archived photo's and determined the trees were planted around 1937, when they were about 6 to 10 feet tall.

These historic photos uncovered in the archives reveal the trees were in fact a half a century younger than experts had thought.

"It has given us a better info and a better understanding of the trees," says Auburn University Horticulturlaist Gary Keever.  "It certainly doesn't diminish the value of the trees, because they are still held near and dear to all of us but I think it is important to know the age of these trees."

The discovery forever alters the history of the trees at Toomer's.

But in the end, it is the future of the trees that fans really care about and that future remains bleak.

"Based on the condition of the trees, they are in such poor health; I don't expect them to live a long time," adds Keever.

Keever says he will continue to monitor the trees here at the corner, but it really is a waiting game to see what happens in the spring.

Keever tells News Leader 9 the university is having great success relocating older trees on campus, to make room for new construction.

Last week, instead of chopping them down, the university uprooted eight large trees, moved and replanted them in an effort to preserve the campus's rich landscape.

Keever says the project was a great success.

The eight trees will be given extra attention over the next five years, to make sure they continue to thrive.

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