The deeply-rooted tradition of the Toomer's oaks has come to its sad conclusion. The trees were removed, limb-by-limb Tuesday morning in front on hundreds of spectators and students walking to class.
Reba Wadsworth, a 1967 Auburn graduate, had a front row seat in her lawn chair as workmen chopped pieces of the more-than-eighty-year old oaks.
"It is so sad," Wadsworth said. "When the train had such a mournful sound coming through; then when the chainsaw cuts, the people just get quiet."
Some on-lookers could not hold back their emotions as sawdust filled the air during the six-hour removal process.
"I know it's got to be done," Charles Edwards, an Auburn graduate said. "But at the same time, I would love for my grandkids to go up and roll the tree."
"I remember after one of the Auburn-Georgia games I came, and afterwards I rolled the tree," Auburn student Sydney Weber said. "This is such a fun experience. I just want to be a part of that. It's sad. But the tradition won't die. It will be in our hearts forever."
The trees were poisoned in 2010 by rival Alabama fan, Harvey Updyke. All that remains are the roots, which will be removed following the upcoming football season.
"There is an extensive root system beneath the plaza," Gary Keever, Auburn horticulturist said. "There is also a valuable source of wood that will be harvested when the renovation begins sometime in 2014."
A bare landscape is all that's left at Toomer's Corner. But the tradition of rolling the trees with bathroom tissue after Auburn wins will continue. A temporary structure, with wires above the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue will be in place for the 2013 football season.
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