Auburn University asking fans not to roll the oak tree damaged by weekend fire

Published: September 26, 2016
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With a homecoming football game on Saturday's schedule, Auburn University is asking fans to refrain from rolling the Auburn Oak at Toomer's Corner that was intentionally set on fire last weekend. The restriction will be in place until further assessment of the tree's health can be made.

Fans celebrating are asked to keep any rolling to the Auburn Oak along College Street. The live oak alongside Magnolia Avenue was significantly burned by the fire, and experts won't know for some time the extent of the damage.

"There is little or no healthy foliage on the burnt tree. Most of the remaining leaves will drop off over the next week or so," said Gary Keever, professor of horticulture. "We will have to wait until next spring to see what long-term effects the fire had."

Keever will use a lift this week to more closely examine the canopy of the tree.

"I don't think the fire killed the tree, but we may never see it return to its appearance before this act," he said.

Auburn officials remind fans not to roll the 10 descendant oak trees lining the walkway between Toomer's Corner and Samford Hall. Those trees, planted earlier this year, were grown from acorns collected from the original Auburn Oaks.

Auburn hosts the University of Louisiana-Monroe Saturday at 2:30 p.m.