Did Bama fan poison Auburn's historic oaks?

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AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn University says someone deliberately poisoned trees at Toomer's Corner, where fans have long celebrated big wins and hundreds gathered after the Tigers won the football national championship on Jan. 10.

File: Someone has poisioned the 130-year old trees at Toomer's Corner with an herbicide, known as Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron. It's game day tradition in Auburn to festoon the live oaks with toilet paper after a Tigers football win. 
  AP
AP
File: Someone has poisioned the 130-year old trees at Toomer's Corner with an herbicide, known as Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron. It's game day tradition in Auburn to festoon the live oaks with toilet paper after a Tigers football win.

The university said in a statement Wednesday that a herbicide commonly used to kill trees was applied "in lethal amounts" to the soil around the two trees, and that they likely can't be saved.

Auburn discovered the poisoning after taking soil samples on Jan. 28, a day after a man called a syndicated radio show based in Birmingham saying he had used the herbicide on the trees.

"The weekend after the Iron Bowl, I went to Auburn, Ala., because I live 30 miles away, and I poisoned the Toomer's trees," the caller told The Paul Finebaum Radio Show, saying he was at the Iron Bowl.

Calling himself "Al from Dadeville," he said he used Spike 80DF, also known as tebuthiuron, and the trees "definitely will die." The caller signed off with, "Roll Damn Tide."

Auburn fans traditionally celebrate by using toilet paper to roll the Toomer's Corner trees, which are estimated to be more than 130 years old.

"We will take every step we can to save the Toomer's oaks, which have been the home of countless celebrations and a symbol of the Auburn spirit for generations of Auburn students, fans, alumni and the community," university President Jay Gogue said in a statement.

City police are investigating the incident. The use of Spike 80DF is also governed by state agricultural laws and the Environmental Protection Agency. The university said it doesn't use the herbicide.

"We are assessing the extent of the damage and proceeding as if we have a chance to save the trees," said Gary Keever, an Auburn University professor of horticulture and a member of Auburn's Tree Preservation Committee. "We are also focused on protecting the other trees and shrubs in Samford Park. At this level the impact could be much greater than just the oaks on the corner, as Spike moves through the soil to a wide area."

A small group gathered and rolled the trees Wednesday afternoon.

The soil samples were tested at Mississippi State.

The amount of herbicide detected in four samples ranged from 0.78 parts per million - described by Auburn as "a very lethal dose" - to 51 parts per million.

"This herbicide is extremely active and persistent," Keever said. "It's very likely to be in the soil for 3 to 5 years."

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REDRIDER
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REDRIDER 02/17/11 - 07:39 am
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Someone needs to put a spike

Someone needs to put a spike in this guys head. That's just plain insane.

bdouglas
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bdouglas 02/17/11 - 08:13 am
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I'm all for a good rivalry,

I'm all for a good rivalry, but vandalism ain't cool no matter who you pull for.

miss.k.
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miss.k. 02/17/11 - 08:46 am
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you can't just replace 130yr

you can't just replace 130yr old trees. this is awful. i hope they find him and hang him from them....

Ugahater715
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Ugahater715 02/17/11 - 08:57 am
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sounds like something a UGA

sounds like something a UGA fan would do.

CoastalDawg
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CoastalDawg 02/17/11 - 09:30 am
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UGAhater715, I think you just

UGAhater715, I think you just set yourself up for a class action libel suit. NO UGA fan would think of doing such a thing as this - the person identified his own loyalty when he said "Roll Tide" - if you know anything about college football you know to what team that refers; furthermore I can almost guarantee that anyone really associated with that team would distance themselves from his action in a heartbeat. Surely that phone number can be traced and the culprit apprehended. The spirit of hate lives amongst us but to take out 130 year old trees is beyond reasonable comprehension. You might infer from my screen name that I am a PROUD UGA fan and you would be correct. I COULD be one of those who COULD become a party to that libel suit . . .By the way, what has caused you to hate anyone or ANY school team as an entity?

Ugahater715
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Ugahater715 02/17/11 - 10:17 am
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CostalDawg, my comments are

CostalDawg, my comments are not directed towards one specific individual just the over all fanbase . Click on the links below and you will see my comments speak some truth.

http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=13501268

http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/uga-tailgaters-warned-to-140564.html

justthefacts
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justthefacts 02/17/11 - 10:25 am
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Coastal, I am surprised that

Coastal, I am surprised that you would respond to someone so shallow.

Ugahater715
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Ugahater715 02/17/11 - 10:48 am
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Hey justthefacts, facts are

Hey justthefacts, facts are fact and UGA doesn't even respect their own campus so why would it be unreasonable for someone to think that a UGA fan wouldn't try to destroy property of another school. I mean one UGA fan already tried to set Toomer's corner on fire what is the difference?

americafirst
1001
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americafirst 02/17/11 - 11:22 am
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An arrest has been made. A 62

An arrest has been made. A 62 year old man.

Ugahater715
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Ugahater715 02/17/11 - 11:23 am
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Read this article:

Read this article:

http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=13501268

I will ask you again whats the difference?

gutdawg
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gutdawg 02/17/11 - 11:55 am
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Hater, if you honestly

Hater, if you honestly believe that fans and students from other schools don't damage their own property, then you haven't been to many games at various schools. I've seen it at many places by the fans from the school hosting the event...but you're probably a Tech fan and haven't been many places....

miss.k.
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miss.k. 02/17/11 - 11:41 am
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how did georgia even come

how did georgia even come into play here? the killer is an admitted alabama fan. granted the fan that set the tree on fire is just as ignorant but this guy succeeded.

Ugahater715
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Ugahater715 02/17/11 - 12:03 pm
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I was just trying to make a

I was just trying to make a joke. Saying that this sounded like something a UGA fan would do since one did try to set Toomer's corner on fire in November. I was not saying that it was a UGA fan who did this. Sorry for the confusion. Just trying to poke a little fun at the expense of dawgnation.

Ashleyn1
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Ashleyn1 02/17/11 - 02:19 pm
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I am an Alabama fan through

I am an Alabama fan through and through and I am sorry that this happened and even more sorry it was done by the hands of an Alabama Fan, what shame he has put on us!

miss.k.
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miss.k. 02/17/11 - 05:05 pm
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they did catch him...it was a

they did catch him...it was a 62 year old man!!! said he was getting revenge for auburn fans supposedly celebrating bear bryant's death in 1983!!! dude, you're a lil behind.

StateDawg
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StateDawg 02/17/11 - 08:21 pm
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First of all, this was

First of all, this was ridiculous and the man should be punished, lightly. Why lightly? He only killed some trees; some very important trees to some, yes, but still just trees. However, before you raise alarm and call me a polar bear killer it behooves you to look to Auburn's student history. Most notably the Wreck Tech Pajama Parade that put HUMAN LIVES in danger when they greased the train tracks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auburn_Tigers#Wreck_Tech_Pajama_Parade

Secondly, CoastalDawg, in what court would you file this Class Action Libel Suit against the nefarious and anonymous defendant named Ugahater715? Furthermore, you would lack the all important LOCUS STANDI (look it up).

Thirdly, gutdawg, MOST other schools, and their respective fans, do not treat their campuses the same way in the slightest. Nothing really compares to that.

Lastly, way to test those soil samples State!

Go to H-E-double hockey sticks Ole Miss!

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