Auburn offers guidelines on how to celebrate at Toomer's Corner while protecting certain trees this year
To protect certain trees around Toomer’s Corner, Auburn officials have put out guidelines around their long-time post-game celebration destination.
University Arborist Alex Hedgepath said that while the two Auburn Oaks planted in 2017 and the 10 descendant oaks in Samford Park showed excellent progress during the 2020 growing season, they still need special care and monitoring to ensure full establishment, the university said in a release. Not rolling them this year will allow the trees more time to become more acclimated to their new environment.
Fans are encouraged to celebrate football victories by rolling two large southern magnolia trees and a white oak in front of Biggin Hall near Toomer’s Corner.
“Although the Auburn Oaks are exhibiting signs of establishment, these oaks are still easily inside of a long transplant recovery phase,” Hedgepath said. “This means that small roots are still growing aggressively to make up for root loss that occurred before and at the time of planting. It is prudent to reduce foot traffic and excess water so that the new roots are not damaged and can establish the trees as soon as possible.”
The Auburn Oaks are exhibiting signs that show reduced stress and increased stabilization, but they’re being monitored closely.
Auburn’s Landscape Services team monitors the trees’ soil moisture through in-ground devices called tensiometers. Each tree has four tensiometers that collect and send data to software used to interpret trends on water availability, which lets Hedgepath know how much water the trees are demanding at any given time.
The 10 descendant trees, planted in 2016 along the walkway in Samford Park, are progressing nicely, Hedgepath said.
“Each tree is different, but most are in good condition and are showing increased resiliency to their new environment. With just five growing seasons in the ground, these live oaks have showed considerable root and shoot growth.”
It is also important not to roll or allow children to climb on the descendant oaks, Hedgepath said.