AU professor: Auburn Oak significantly damaged by fire, long-term prognosis unclear

Published 4:25 pm Sunday, September 25, 2016

AUBURN – The future of the live oak tree at Toomer’s Corner that was intentionally set on fire early Sunday morning will not be determined without closer inspection.

Professor of Horticulture Gary Keever will use a lift to get a closer look at the tree’s canopy as early as Monday morning.

“From the ground we can easily see damage to the leaves and base of the tree. It is significant,” said Keever. “I expect the foliage will continue to drop. The full extent of damage may not be known for several weeks. The best case scenario would be to see a flush of new growth next spring, but right now it’s too early to tell how the tree will respond.”

Landscape crews will need to replace irrigation pipes that watered the tree through the heat of the day, as much of it was melted by the intensity of the fire.

The Auburn Oak, located on the Magnolia Ave. side of Toomer’s Corner, was damaged following Auburn’s win over LSU Saturday night. It was the second celebration since Auburn resumed the rolling tradition this fall.

Auburn University will provide updates throughout the week on the extent of fire damage at


(Written by Mike Clardy/AU)