Auburn committee suggests replacing Toomer's oaks

AUBURN, AL (WXTX) –  Auburn University officials say after months of debate and suggestions, the future of Toomer's Corner has been decided.

The trees conditions continue to fade and a decision has been made to continue the rolling of Toomer's Corner with new trees.

The committee is focused specifically on the tradition of rolling Toomer's Corner and how to preserve the celebration if the trees die.

Auburn's Gary Keever has been caring for live oaks since they were poisoned and expects the trees will die soon.

The committee has decided to replace the oaks with one or two new oak trees.

The timeline of all this depends on how the trees look this Spring, but even if they do die, oak wood is hardy and they may be able to be rolled this football season.

Then in 2013 a massive renovation project at Toomer's Corner could begin.

"I would say based on how the trees look now, in the year 2013, this plaza will be totally redone and one or two large trees will be replanted," says Keever. "They would not be able to be rolled immediately, need to allow three to five years for them to reestablish."

Keever explained during the time that the new oaks cannot be rolled; the university and city leaders are working on a cable system at Toomer's Corner than can be rolled.

Keever says redoing the plaza will be a major undertaking. It is not just about replanting new oaks but it is about removing all of that contaminated soil that's been tainted with Spike 80-DF.

At this point, there is no word on the cost or the length of the project.

Copyright 2012 WXTX. All rights reserved.