Toomer's Corner is the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue. It's the reason for this site's name. It is the heart of Auburn.
Since April of 2013 - shortly following the "last roll" - the corner has been devoid of the oak trees that made it famous. Everyone is familiar with the reason why that is, so for that and for other reasons I won't go into detail on it. Wire has been strong across the intersection for Auburn fans to roll since that removal, though fans have seemed to turn more towards rolling any other tree in what is being called "Samford Park" than using the wires.
On Valentine's Day - a day filled with hearts and imagery of love - Auburn will have a small piece of its heart returned to it. The initial plan has been out since early November of last season, but more word is coming out, now. According to that linked press release, descendant trees were planted 12 years ago in case something ever happened to the two trees, but they are not yet large enough. They will still find a home nearby, however. The descendants will be planted as further renovation of Samford Park along a path leading from Toomer's Corner to Samford Hall.
The two oaks that will be coming to Auburn will arrive from Ehrhardt, South Carolina. They are 35 feet tall, and have about a 30 foot canopy.
Most importantly to many, they are Live Oaks.
The tradition of rolling oak trees at Toomer's Corner will have to hold off for at least one more football season though, as the trees need to take root in the ground before they can handle the stress of the rolling and then the removal of the toilet paper. Hopefully Auburn fans will be able to restrain themselves.
Work will begin at 8am on Valentine's Day. As it's a Saturday, I imagine the crowd will be quite large. Auburn University is welcoming all who wish to come out and watch the new trees be placed in their new home.
The new trees won't replace the iconic oaks completely, but it will hopefully go a long way towards providing a closing for the events that led to this. It is my wish - as I've pointed out before - that the reason behind it all is just forgotten and fades into obscurity where it belongs.
Just a little longer, Auburn family. The corner will begin to look normal again this Valentine's Day. Then with the first victory of the 2016 football season (or perhaps earlier, depending on other sports' performances) we can all gather again under the canopy of beautiful oak trees and celebrate one of the things that makes it so great to be an Auburn Tiger.
War Eagle. Always.