Vacant space has occupied the corner of College and Magnolia across from the Toomer’s Drugs for four years, but Auburn University is now ready to replant trees where the famed oaks once stood.
On Valentine’s Day at 8 a.m., flatbed trucks will deliver the 35-foot trees and landscapers will begin planting them. The streets surrounding Toomer’s and Samford Park will be closed off for the occasion, and a viewing area for fans will be set up for the event.
The arrival of the two live oaks is the final step in the renovation of the park surrounding Samford Hall, Auburn’s most iconic building. With the improvement of the landscaping, the first phase of the school’s plan for the area is complete.
The second phase, per Auburn, will begin after the Auburn spring football A-Day game in April, and “will feature the planting of 30 15-foot-tall trees – grown from acorns collected from the original oaks – between Toomer’s Corner and Samford Hall.”
In an effort to let the trees get acclimated to their new home, fans won’t be able to roll them in celebration until 2016. But their presence alone will serve as a living reminder of the school’s resilience in the face of the idiocy and ignorance of a rogue fan.