Toomer's Corner oak trees cut down

Toomer's Corner oak trees cut down

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Crews work to remove the historic oak trees at Toomer's Corner on the Auburn University campus, Tuesday, April 23. (Photo: Carolyn Ryan/myfoxatlanta.com) Crews work to remove the historic oak trees at Toomer's Corner on the Auburn University campus, Tuesday, April 23. (Photo: Carolyn Ryan/myfoxatlanta.com)
Crews work to remove the historic oak trees at Toomer's Corner on the Auburn University campus, Tuesday, April 23. (Photo: Lloyd Alford/myfoxatlanta.com)) Crews work to remove the historic oak trees at Toomer's Corner on the Auburn University campus, Tuesday, April 23. (Photo: Lloyd Alford/myfoxatlanta.com))
Crews work to remove the historic oak trees at Toomer's Corner on the Auburn University campus, Tuesday, April 23. (Photo: Lloyd Alford/myfoxatlanta.com)) Crews work to remove the historic oak trees at Toomer's Corner on the Auburn University campus, Tuesday, April 23. (Photo: Lloyd Alford/myfoxatlanta.com))
AUBURN, Ala. -

Two years ago a fan from a rival football team deliberately poisoned two massive oak trees on the campus of Auburn University. Those trees died, and they came down for good on Tuesday.

The trees at Toomer's Corner are symbols of the university's very being, and are deeply rooted in history and tradition. Many gathered to witness the historical event as crews arrived to begin removing the trees -- branch by branch -- in the morning.

Auburn fans traditionally celebrate by using toilet paper to "roll the trees." They've been doing it for generations. But two years ago, Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr. admitted to poisoning the trees after Auburn beat Alabama in the annual Iron Bowl clash. The university tried saving the oak trees, but couldn't.

"It came to a point where we realized it wasn't going to work, and the amount of poison in the ground was such that the trees were not going to survive," said Mike Clardy, Director of Communications For Auburn University.

Auburn horticulture professor Gary Keever says they did everything they could to save the iconic oaks.

"It's sad in many ways, but we're going to move on," said Keever.

Removing the trees was the only option left. Sports director Rick Karle from FOX 6 in Birmingham says if you understand football in the south, you will understand why this has so many Auburn fans shaken.

But for students, even though the trees may now be gone, they'll make sure the tradition lives on.

"It's sad, but I know that something else will come on and Toomer's will last with or without these trees. So as sad as it is, we're also excited about the future," said student Logan Powell.

Officials say the wood from the trees will be used to make keepsakes for people to purchase. All the royalties from the merchandise will go to scholarship funds for future students.

Officials say they hope to plant new oak trees at the same spot by 2014.

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