Auburn Flushes Gameday Tradition
The Auburn Tigers are set to begin its 2020 season at home against the Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday. Should the Tigers win on Saturday the celebration on The Plains will look a little bit different than in years past. Auburn University officials are requesting fans do not roll the oak trees at Toomer's Corner this season.
Auburn fans traditionally toss toilet paper into the trees to celebrate big athletic wins. The tradition originated from Toomer's Drug store tossing ticker tape into the trees after receiving news of an Auburn away victory. Allegedly the first time toilet paper was used was after the 1972 Iron Bowl.
The officials are asking instead that Auburn fans roll the two large magnolia and white oak tree in front of Biggin Hall near Toomer's Corner. University Arborist Alex Hedgepath says the reason for the request is to allow the oaks more time to acclimate to their new environment. The oaks were planted in 2017 after Harvey Updyke poisoned the original trees in 2010.
“Although the Auburn Oaks are exhibiting signs of establishment, these oaks are still easily inside of a long transplant recovery phase,” Hedgepath said. “This means that small roots are still growing aggressively to make up for root loss that occurred before and at the time of planting. It is prudent to reduce foot traffic and excess water so that the new roots are not damaged and can establish the trees as soon as possible.”
Auburn's officials are encouraging those who participate in the rolling tradition at the alternate site to do so in a responsible manor. Fans are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.