This is crazy! Why would a football fan want to kill 130-year old oaks that fans of his rival team use as a stage for celebrations?
The Alabama-Auburn rivalry is as intense as any in college sports, consuming the state year round. If anything, the intensity is hotter than ever, as the two schools have alternated the last two national championships.
A 62-year-old Dadeville man has been arrested in connection with the poisoning of the historic Toomer’s Corner oak trees at Auburn University.
A man claiming to be “Al from Dadeville” phoned a radio show late last month, claiming he poured herbicide around the 130-year-old oaks that are the scene of celebrations after Auburn’s sports victories.
“The weekend after the Iron Bowl, I went to Auburn, Ala., because I live 30 miles away, and I poisoned the Toomer’s trees,” the caller told The Paul Finebaum Radio Show, saying he was at the Iron Bowl.
Calling himself “Al from Dadeville,” he said he used Spike 80DF, also known as tebuthiuron, and the trees “definitely will die.” The caller signed off with, “Roll Damn Tide.”
Auburn discovered the poisoning after taking soil samples on Jan. 28, a day after “Al from Dadeville” called Finebaum’s syndicated show saying he had used the herbicide on the trees.
The university said in a statement Wednesday that an herbicide commonly used to kill trees was applied “in lethal amounts” to the soil around the two trees, and that they likely can’t be saved.