Magnolia oak

The two new live oaks on Toomer's Corner look terrible — one from a fire, the other from struggling to become fully established.

In fact, neither tree is fully established. That alone should have been enough to prompt Auburn University officials to postpone the resumption of the tradition of rolling the oaks after victories. 

Why the rush? I've talked to many Auburn fans, some before the season and some after the recent fire to the Magnolia oak, who wondered why the university would allow rolling at all since both trees obviously were not healthy. 

Since the fire, Auburn has asked fans not to roll the Magnolia oak, but is still allowing fans to roll the oak along College Street. 

University officials should make the prudent call and hold off rolling either tree until they become fully established and show a full season of healthy growth and the ability to avoid the stresses of summer heat. 

The university took steps to better irrigate the Magnolia oak this summer, installing a pipe up to the top of the canopy, where many of the leaves had suddenly yellowed and fallen to the ground. 

The College Street oak never really fully flushed out at the top of the canopy this year. Now, after three rollings, there seems to be more bits of toilet paper than leaves in the canopy. 

The tradition of rolling the oaks at Toomer's Corner is a relatively long one, dating back to the early 1970s, and possibly even before. 

It's a tradition that won't die like a tree if not properly nourished. But the trees run the risk of dying, or being disfigured, if the university doesn't give them the opportunity to thrive. 

It would be a shame if the new tradition attached to Toomer's Corner became replacing two oaks every few years.

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