Auburn oaks poisoner released
University of Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr. released after serving 76 days following poisoning of Auburn University oaks
The University of Alabama fan that was jailed for poisoning the famous Auburn University oak trees at Toomer’s Corner has been released.
Harvey Updyke Jr. served 76 days after being sentenced to six months following a guilty plea for poisoning the iconic pair of oaks that traditionally serve as a celebration point for Auburn sporting victories, most notably football.
Updyke was arrested following investigations into a caller to Paul Finebaum’s radio show, whom claimed to have poured herbicide on the aged oaks following Auburn’s defeat of rivals Alabama in 2010.
Naming himself ‘Al from Dadeville’, the caller signed off saying “Roll Damn Tide” – a hybrid of the famous Alabama chant – which was parodied widely online.
Updyke pleaded guilty to unlawful damage in March before being sentenced, though he was credited with 104 days time already served of the six-month sentence.
The 64-year-old was prohibited from talking to the press and ignored questions upon leaving the Lee County Courthouse.
The famous trees at Toomer’s Corner were losing foliage for some time after the poisoning and eventually had to be removed on April 23 after attempts to save them failed.
It was widely believed that the oaks were somewhere in the region of 130 years old, but recent research on the growth rings have lead to two Auburn professors estimating the age of the trees being somewhere between 83-85 years old.