Auburn's historic oak trees poisoned

Auburn's historic oak trees poisoned

February 16th, 2011 by Associated Press in Local Regional News

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn University says someone deliberately poisoned trees at Toomer's Corner, and that the live oaks likely can't be saved.

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 trees. Toomer's Corner has long been a site where Auburn fans celebrate big wins, including the football national championship on Jan. 10.

City police are investigating the incident.

The use of Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron, is also governed by state agricultural laws and the Environmental Protection Agency. The university says it doesn't use the herbicide.

The university says a caller to a syndicated radio show on Jan. 27 claimed he had applied the herbicide. Soil samples taken the next day and were tested at Mississippi State to determine the type of poison.