Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sad Day

Auburn's historic Toomer's Corner oaks poisoned with herbicide, likely to this is some really SAD NEWS for all of us in the AUBURN FAMILY! Who in the world would be sooooo cruel and stupid to do such a thing because their team lost a FOOTBALL GAME? Sometimes I feel really sad in this world that we live in...some people really need to get a life and grow up! What will they do next...set our stadium on fire? These trees are so SPECIAL to sooooo many's a tradition that we LOVE...I know some people find it silly, but we the Auburn family don't...we LOVE our Toomer's Oaks! I sure hope they find the person or persons that did this and that jail time will be in their future. We the AUBURN FAMILY will be okay because we are "ALL IN" and always will be...WAR EAGLE!!!! This is an article from it to find out more about what happened and why we are all so sad.

AUBURN, Alabama – Auburn University today confirmed that an herbicide commonly used to kill trees was deliberately applied in lethal amounts to the soil around the Toomer’s Corner live oaks on campus, and there is little chance to save the trees.
The trees are the traditional gathering place following a major sports victory. Auburn Tigers fans festoon the trees with toilet paper as a jubilant sign of Auburn pride. Most recently, of course, it was the scene of celebration for Auburn's victory over the Oregon Ducks in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 10.
The city of Auburn Police Division is investigating the situation, and the application of this herbicide, known as Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron, is also governed by state agricultural laws and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The university does not use Spike herbicide, officials said. Officials did say there is no reason to suspect any human danger from the herbicide, which manufacturer Dow Chemical says should be applied with proper clothing protection; a typical use of the herbicide is to kill trees along fence lines.
The university learned that a caller to The Paul Finebaum Show, a nationally syndicated radio show based in Birmingham, on Jan. 27, claimed he had applied the herbicide. As a precaution, soil samples were taken the next day and sent to the Alabama State Pesticide Residue Laboratory on campus for analysis. Due to a small fire that occurred in the Alabama lab in December, the tests were sent to the lab at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss., to expedite results.
For updates on the Toomer's Corner oaks
Auburn University has set up a website to follow information about the historic Toomer's Corner oaks.

Listen to the Jan. 27 call to The Paul Finebaum Show on the radio program's website.
Officials said in a news release that the lowest amount of the poison detected was 0.78 parts per million, described by horticulture experts as a “very lethal dose.” The highest amount detected was 51 parts per million, or 65 times the lowest dose. Experts believe a normal application by itself would have been enough to kill the trees, which are estimated to be more than 130 years old.
“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.”
Additional tests are being completed to determine the movement and extent of the area affected, Keever said.

The removal process involves digging trenches and applying activated charcoal to absorb the herbicide from the soil and block its progress. A representative from Dow Chemical, which manufactures the herbicide, is advising the university on removal procedures, and expert horticulturalists are also being consulted.

“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,” said University President Jay Gogue.
Gogue asked members of the Auburn Family to “continue to be ‘All In’ in upholding its reputation for class” and not allow anger to be expressed inappropriately or undeservedly.
“It is understandable to feel outrage in reaction to a malicious act of vandalism,” Gogue said. “However, we should live up to the example we set in becoming national champions and the beliefs expressed in our Auburn Creed. Individuals act alone, not on behalf of anyone or any place, and all universities are vulnerable to and condemn such reprehensible acts.”

Because the application of the herbicide is being investigated, no details about the investigation can be released. Anyone with information can contact the Auburn Police Division at (334) 501-3110 or anonymously by voice or text on the tip line at (334) 246-1391.

UPDATE...An arrest has been made...62 year old retired state trooper/Alabama fan Harvey Updyke was arrested Thursday morning and his bond was set at $50,000! Let's all say a prayer that this poison did not get into the water system...I have told Mary Claire to only drink bottled
water until we know for sure the water is safe.      

                                I will be out of town for the next few days with my mom...Take
                                                              care and I will ya soon!              

                                  This is what Toomer's Corner looked like after we WON the
                                               BCS National Championship Football Game
                                                         this year...WAR EAGLE!!!
                                                   Here we are having fun after one of our
                                                                 games this year!
Second UPDATE as of Monday 2/21/ daughter just sent me this pic that she made
on her way to classes today of our Toomer's sad that they are having to put
up a wall around our beautiful oaks...I sure hope that they can be saved. Friday I left for
my trip with my mom and I found it really strange that I got several comments from Alabama
fans about my National Championship/Toomer's Corner T-shirt that I was wearing...I got
the shirt last month when I was in town for the celebration party...didn't really think much
about it when I put it on Friday morning until people where stopping me in restaurants with
their comments. I'm hoping that maybe something good can come out of this awful act of


Tara@JustDevineStyle said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear this. I can not believe someone could be so ignorant as to kill 130 year old trees over a sports issue. I am glad they have found him and I hope the environmental impacts can be lessened by everyone who is working on the issue.

Low Tide High Style said...

So sorry to hear that anyone, much less a former law enforcement officer charged with protecting and serving, could commit such a mean spirited act! You can't just replant 130 year old trees...why would anyone do such a thing?!

Enjoy your trip!


Sherri said...

Linda, that is absolutely horrible that someone would think of doing that! How irresponsible! I'm glad he was caught. Enjoy your trip!

Victoria said...

That's horrible and I hope the person gets what's coming to him. Pranks are one thing but destroying something like that crosses the line. Have a fun trip:)

Claudia said...

How horrifying and cruel! I cannot understand how someone could do such a thing.I'm glad there has been an arrest made and I hope this man gets many years in jail.


Donna said...

This is just awful and the person that was arrested is just crazy! How anyone could do this is beyond me to want to kill those precious trees. Some people just take the rivalry to extremes and obviously this guy is one of them. I hope they can save the trees.
Have a good weekend with your mother!

Donnie said...

I guess I'm getting Jaded now. Nothing surprises me but it sure saddens me.

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Linda, this has just broken my heart in two!! What is this world coming to when the loss of a football game would prompt this sort of sick heart hurts....our beautiful trees....

Lou Cinda

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Linda, I was horrified to hear this news from my daughter (AU alum) yesterday. I will admit that my first thought was a frustrated ALA fan.No....surely not?! But a state trooper, no less....unbelievable! BTW, my son (also AU alum) took his wife and 4 kids (age 6 and under) to the celebration after the national championship and they enjoyed papering Toomer's Corner. I am one sad Bulldog.....this is a crazy world we live in. Linda

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Linda that is so sad that someone would do that.. it's crazy! Such beautiful trees and such a tradition.

michelle said...

Oh my gosh Linda that is awful! I don't understand why people are like that either, it amazes me how ignorant people can be! I hope that the trees can survive this and the man that was supposed to serve and protect, that is messed up, is punished!

Daphne said...

This dreadful act makes me so sad. I loved walking by those trees when I was in school. I'm glad they caught the villain.

Mimi said...

My heart aches for the Auburn family and the beautiful trees! They can never be replaced. I'm hoping the Dow rep and others can minimize the destruction. Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

What a shame! Obviously a very troubled individual! Hard to believe anyone would do such a thing. I hope and pray that the trees can be saved. My heart goes out to the Auburn family.

Have a blessed time with your mum!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

So sad! I saw this on the news tonight, it is hard to understand the mentality behind such evil. There are some really sick people out there!

Unknown said...

It is so sad that someone would cause so much devastation over a sports grudge! The loss of old growth trees is terrible. I am glad they caught this person. God only knows if he would stop at poisoning trees. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they may be able to save some of the trees and prevent further damage to the surrounding plants and water supply.

Lori said...

I heard about that today and immediately thought of you. I hadn't heard about the tradition until you talked about it on your blog. Just so sad and how sick is that guy!

A Vintage Vine said...

This is so, so, so wrong! I had some friends who also went to Auburn and I know those trees are precious to alumni!!!! To everyone there! How could he make such a terrible choice to kill those beautiful trees....Sorry this has happened! On a lighter note, have a great trip!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Linda, My husband and children have all participated in celebrations at Toomers Corner. I hope the trees will survive so future generations can enjoy this tradition also. What a shame that this guy would resort to killing these trees over a football rivalry.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I saw this on the news this evening...I hope they can save these trees...I just don't get this kind of behavior...

Jane said...

Unbelievable! I had not read about this and it really makes me mad and sad at the same time. I'm glad to read they found out who did it.
Have a wonderful visit with your mom.

Anonymous said...

This is sickening. I could not believe a 62 year old was involved. What a wonderful role model - not.

Lisa x

Beach House Living said...

Such a sad story what did a tree ever do to anybody except over shade on warm day, show the first signs of spring or let the snow rest on it's branches, a home for birds. THe older the tree the better it is for the environment...A symbol for some maybe but that is no excuse for this.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

SO SAD TO HEAR THIS STORY!!! I'm so glad they made an arrest!

Unknown said...

The man is a serious nut job. The newspaper said he was on 21 medications but it sounds like he's always been a little too extreme with his hate for Auburn.
Hugs and have a nice visit with your mom.

Rhonda said...

We drove by Toomers last night after the basketball game. I felt sick! Of course, there was toilet tissue in both trees, but what really got to me was all of the posters, flowers, etc, that were starting to pile up around the base of the trees.
TV vans and camera crews were out and about. Small groups of students and older people were just standing under them with sad faces.
This man is obviously sick or just plain evil.
His photo on facebook shows him holding a tiny baby (I'm guessing a grandchild) -why would you risk losing your own family over such a cruel, stupid act?
He has a son named Bear and a daughter named Crimson!!!! He appears to be an out-of-control, maniacal Bear Bryant/AL football fan with anger issues.
Linda, I pray that these mighty trees can be saved and that our grandchildren will get to roll them and know what they mean to Auburn.

René said...

This makes me want to cry. For no other reason than this is just plain old mean (and stupid). I'm so sorry Linda, for you and the people it means so much to.


Anonymous said...

This is very sad. What makes it more horrible is who the culprit is. You would think someone in his position would know the meaning of senseless violence. If he gets time behind bars his former occupation will also not be in his favor. I am sure they will go for a mental defect defense.

Erin said...

Even as die hard as we are, that is just ridiculous for someone to do. I am saddened for you and all other Auburn fans/family. Sorry to hear about this.

An Oasis in the Desert said...

This is so sad. I've always followed the belief that there is some good in all people & that everyone really want to be a good person, but they may just be misguided. I'm feeling so naive in that thinking any more. There are just some "mean" people in our society, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sherry Hicks said...

I am so sorry this post is so sad.
I did want to thank you for being my 100th follower and I posted a note for you today on my blog. I know you are out of town but when you get back here is the link for you to read.......I have a surprise for you.

Bella @ Bella before and after said...

This is beyond terrible. Right up there with animal, and child cruelty. Destroying something as old, and precious as these trees is just sad. REALLY, REALLY sad. I feel so sick every time I see things like this happen. I wish people would use their heads before, doing such stupid, and Irriversable damage. So sad.

I HOPE that they can save those BEAUTIFUL trees!!!!

Bella :)

Rachel Wright {The Inspired House of Wright} said...

I'm an Auburn girl myself and live about 2 miles from Toomer's. I wrote about it and have designed a teeshirt in support

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