By Brendan Loy
I kid, but this is terrible:
Someone has intentionally applied lethal amounts of herbicide to the soil around the famous Toomer’s Corner oaks on the campus of Auburn University, university officials said Wednesday.
They say there is little chance they can save the trees, which are an icon of the campus.
HROOM, HOOM!!! As B. Minich tweets, “That’s horrible. Where are the Ents when you need them?” Where indeed? Prime suspect Alabama had better be on the lookout. “We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door… To Sabanguard, with doom we come! With doom we come, with doom we come!”
Anyway, back to the story. Auburn “investigated after learning that a caller to Paul Finebaum’s radio show claimed on Jan. 27 that he had applied herbicide to the oaks.” Specifically, according to various accounts on Twitter, the caller said, “The weekend after the Iron Bowl, I went to Auburn. I live 30 miles away. I poisoned the Toomer’s tree.” Or words to that effect. So yeah, makes it sound like a Bama fan, though who knows. Whoever it is, he’s a sicko, as Andy Staples said.
According to the university (link loading very slowly due to heavy traffic):
As a precaution, soil samples were taken … The lowest amount detected was 0.78 parts per million, described by horticulture experts as a “very lethal dose.” The highest amount detected was 51 parts per million, or 65 times the lowest dose. Experts believe a normal application by itself would have been enough to kill the trees, which are estimated to be more than 130 years old.
“We are assessing the extent of the damage and proceeding as if we have a chance to save the trees,” said Gary Keever, an Auburn University professor of horticulture and a member of Auburn’s Tree Preservation Committee. “We are also focused on protecting the other trees and shrubs in Samford Park. At this level the impact could be much greater than just the oaks on the corner, as Spike moves through the soil to a wide area.” Additional tests are being completed to determine the movement and extent of the area affected, Keever said.
Auburn’s president, Jay Gogue, “asked members of the Auburn Family to ‘continue to be ‘All In’ in upholding its reputation for class’ and not allow anger to be expressed inappropriately or undeservedly. ‘It is understandable to feel outrage in reaction to a malicious act of vandalism. However,…[i]ndividuals act alone, not on behalf of anyone or any place, and all universities are vulnerable to and condemn such reprehensible acts.”
True, but Bryan D. Fischer’s got a point: “At USC/UCLA, statues are wrapped in duct tape and placed under 24/7 guard for rivalry week. I think Alabama/Auburn might have the National Guard on campus next year.”
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