AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) — Auburn University officials are asking fans not to roll the Auburn Oaks and descendants along Samford Park.
The trees have shown nothing but progress over the past year according to reports of root and shoot growth, according to a media release. Officials do not want the progress to digress.
University Arborist Alex Hedgepath said holding back another year will help the trees likelihood of full establishment.
“The trees have made excellent progress in the growing season of 2021,” Hedgepath said. “Since then, the trees have pushed new growth with no additional signs of stress. We will be initiating soil enhancement projects to encourage even more root growth in the coming months.”
Traditionally, fans would rolls the trees with toilet paper after athletic victories. In place of the Auburn Oaks, fans have previously, and are encouraged to roll two southern magnolia trees and a white oak located in front of Biggin Hall to keep the tradition alive.
Both Auburn Oaks were planted at Toomer’s Corner in 2017, preceded by the descendants in 2016.
The original Auburn Oaks were planted between 1937-1939 and removed from the corner in April 2013 due to poisoning in 2010.
Both trees were damaged and removed in 2016 after the tree was lit on fire after the oaks were allowed to be rolled in 2016.
Justin Sutton, director of Landscape Services, says the reasoning behind the hold off is to preserve the tradition for future generations of students.
“We appreciate the Auburn Family’s dedication to this same goal,” Sutton said, “and helping us through these growing pains by not rolling the live oak trees, which in time will allow us to bring this cherished tradition back to the corner.”