Harvey Updyke, the man allegedly responsible for the poisoning of the Toomer’s Corner oak trees at Auburn University in Alabama, has been arrested, according to reports.
Updyke, 62, has been reportedly charged with criminal mischief, a Class C felony that could cost him up to 10 years in prison.
He is being held on $50,000 bail.
Auburn University says it’s historic, 130-year-old Toomer’s Corner oak trees were poisoned with an herbicide called Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron.It’s a tradition at Auburn University to toilet paper the famous oaks after a Tigers football win but now that tradition may have come to an end, says the University.
Spike 80DF is an herbicide used to intentionally kill trees and the university says the chemical was “deliberately applied in lethal amounts to the soil” around the Toomer’s Corner oaks. The university says there is “little chance” to save the trees.
On January 27, someone called into The Paul Finebaum radio show based in Alabama, claiming to have doused the trees in herbicide.
The university took soil samples the next day and tested them. The tests turned up a “very lethal dose” of the poison.
“We will take every step we can to save the Toomer’s oaks, which have been the home of countless celebrations and a symbol of the Auburn spirit for generations of Auburn students, fans, alumni and the community,” University President Jay Gogue said in a statement.In an attempt to remove the poison, the university will dig around the trees and use charcoal to block the spread of the chemical.