Toomer's Oaks getting sugar injection to battle poison

Published: Mar. 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 2, 2017 at 2:10 PM EST
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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Officials at Auburn University are hoping a radical new procedure being performed on the oaks at Toomer's Corner will help them battle the spike 80 DF poison.

Tree Task Force leader Gary Keever met News Leader 9 Tuesday and showed the dozens of holes drilled into the oaks at Toomer's corner, where a sugar substance has been injected.

Keever says it is like a feeding tube for trees and believes the experimental procedure was a success.

The oak on College Street took up 25 gallons of the substance and the Magnolia tree sucked up 20 gallons.

"As you know Spike 80 DF prevents trees from photosynthesis. It is photosynthesis that allows the trees to get sugars or carbohydrates so we would like to replace those carbs by artificially injecting them into the trees," says Keever.

Experts are hoping the sugar substance will create a new flush of growth on the trees, including new shoots and leaves.

So far, Keever says the leaves are not showing any signs of poison, and that is a very good sign.

Keever says he is not ready to say the trees will live. However, we should know a lot more in the next month when soil samples are taken and tested to see how much of the spike 80 DF remains.

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