Report: Professor of Horticulture fears burnt tree at Toomer's Corner will die
The burned Auburn Oak tree at Toomer’s Corner will likely die, Auburn Police Division of Public Safety and Security Chance Corbett told Auburn Plainsman in an email Wednesday.
The tree’s damages will be approximately $15,000 to $20,000, according to Corbett:
“As a result of the fire that was intentionally set to one of the oak trees on university property at the corner of West Magnolia Avenue and South College Street, it is the professional opinion of Dr. Gary Keever, Professor of Horticulture, that the damaged tree will die and must be replaced. It is estimated that the cost to replace the damaged tree will be approximately $15,000 to $20,000.”
This conflicts with an email The Plainsmen received earlier Wednesday from Keever himself. The professor said there were no plans to remove the tree, despite its health declining “significantly.”
“The tree has declined significantly since the morning following the fire, with multiple branches in the canopy now dead,” Keever said. “On the positive side, new leaves are forming on some of the live branches scattered through the canopy. We’ll continue to monitor the condition of the tree through fall and winter, but at this time, there are no plans to remove it.”
The oak tree was set on fire following Auburn’s game against LSU on Sept. 25. Jochen Wiest was charged with felony criminal mischief, public intoxication and desecration of a venerable object for the incident.