Last weekend, one of the most iconic symbols in college sports returned to its rightful place on the corner of College Street and Magnolia Avenue in Auburn, Alabama. Two 15-year-old oak trees were planted at Toomer’s Corner on February 14, 2015, replacing the trees that were poisoned in 2010 and removed in 2013.
While the actual origins of the practice are not known – some say it began with ticker tape as early as the 1890s – fans of Auburn University’s athletics programs rolled the trees at Toomer’s Corner with toilet paper to celebrate big victories for decades.
Among the biggest celebrations occurred following the 2010 Auburn Tigers winning the BCS National Championship. But in April 2013, the trees were removed.
Nearly two years after Auburn fans, students, alumni and city residents gathered to roll the original 85-year old trees one last time following the annual A-Day spring football game, a large group gathered to cheer for the arrival of the new oaks at 8AM on a cold Valentine’s Day morning and witness the renewal of one of the great Auburn traditions.
“I remember bringing my three boys to Toomer’s when they were little, and now they are about to graduate Auburn,” Amy Broussard, an Auburn alumna, told The Corner News. “We enjoyed our day with our Auburn family and it’s cool that they have been able to see the Toomer’s tradition come back to life.”
A construction worked for nearly four hours to dig holes and then hoist the 35-foot tall trees into place for planting.
And while fans would love to roll the trees soon, the university has asked they wait until 2016 in order to allow the trees to safely and properly take root in their new/old spot.
However, there’s still plenty to celebrate. Visit the Loveliest Village on the Plains this spring to participate in a block party celebration under the new Toomer’s Oaks on A-Day Saturday April 18, 2015.
Auburn’s student newspaper, The Plainsman, has a time lapse video of the event: