No “rolling” zone: students will avoid Auburn Oaks this year

Rolling Auburn
No “rolling” zone. Photo via Auburn University

Auburn has asked students to forgo the popular “rolling” celebratory tradition at the oaks again this year. But don’t worry Tiger fans, there’s a newly designated place to let your toilet paper fly.

So, what is “rolling” exactly?

Auburn Rolling
The “rolling” results. Photo via Cecilia Wood for The Bama Buzz

For those unfamiliar, let’s get a quick lesson in “rolling” (it’s not something that goes down in Tuscaloosa). After athletic victories, Auburn students traditionally headed to a group of large oak trees with toilet paper in hand.

Students would then throw the rolls of toilet paper over the school’s signature oak trees to celebrate the big win.

Oak status

Oaks Auburn
Current oak status. Look at her grow! Photo via Auburn University

The Auburn Oaks have always been a classic campus symbol, though they’ve had a bit of a bumpy ride. The original oaks were planted between 1937 and 1939, but were removed in April 2013 after they were poisoned in 2010. A fresh duo of oaks was planted in Feb 2015, but one was lit on fire in a rolling incident in 2016. Yikes.

I do have some positive news, though. The Auburn Oaks and their descendants along Samford Park (planted in 2016/17) recently received a positive report. They are showing strong root and shoot growth, and experts think giving them another year without “rolling” will facilitate further progress.

“The trees have made excellent progress in the growing season of 2021. Since then, the trees have pushed new growth with no additional signs of stress. We will be initiating soil enhancement projects to encourage even more root growth in the coming months.”

— Alex Hedgepath, University Arborist

How will Auburn fans celebrate?

Auburn Rolling
How will Auburn fans celebrate their victories this year? Photo via Nathan Watson for The Bama Buzz

Don’t worry, there’s always a plan B. Auburn recognizes just how important this tradition is, so they’ve allocated a new place to let your TP fly. Fans can head to the two large southern magnolia trees and white oak tree in front of Biggin Hall near Toomer’s Corner.

Auburn feels that taking this protective approach is essential to making this long-standing tradition available for generations to come.

“We appreciate the Auburn Family’s dedication to this same goal, and helping us through these growing pains by not rolling the live oak trees, which in time will allow us to bring this cherished tradition back to the corner.”

— Justin Sutton, Director, Landscape Services

Game day is just around the corner! If you’re headed to Auburn, bring your mask and don’t miss these student favorites.

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Madison Croxson
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