Auburn will once again transplant two new live oaks at Toomer’s Corner, the University announced Tuesday. The oaks will be installed on Saturday morning, February 18th.
Here are the quick facts from the announcement:
- The fire after the LSU game severely damaged the Magnolia Ave Oak.
- The College St. Oak is being replaced because it has not established itself, and the University identified two matching oaks in their search for the new Magnolia Ave Tree.
- The new oaks will be slightly smaller than the original replacements.
- Their smaller size improves the new oaks’ chances for successful roots establishment.
- There is no timetable yet for when the new Oaks can be rolled.
The new oaks will be moved to Auburn from a nursery in Central Florida. You may recall that the original replacements were moved to Auburn from South Carolina, as was Tree No. 3, which still stands over on West Samford Avenue.
The announcement does not mention any plans for planting the current replacements anywhere else. We can presume the Magnolia Ave Tree—like its predecessor—is not a good candidate for re-transplantation. If there were any plans to move the College St. Tree, the University likely would have told us.
Whatever happens Saturday—at least, whatever happens at Toomer’s Corner—you’ll be able to watch it live via the City of Auburn webcams.
I hope these trees turn out to be the ones—that in 20 years or so they will look something like the original Oaks; and that the descendant oaks become the distinguishing feature of Samford Park.
It takes work, and time—in some cases more than we’d like—to overcome challenges. But Auburn has always been the Loveliest Village. And as these trees mature, and assimilate into the image of the campus and the town, we will see The New Lovely—a fitting legacy, carrying on tradition.
Update: Here are some comments from Auburn University horticulture professor Gary Keever on when the new trees could possibly be ready for rolling, and the current philosophy for sustaining the tradition.