Harvey Updyke, Alabama fan known for poisoning Toomer’s Oaks in Auburn, dies at 71

Local News

FILE – In this June 10, 2013, file photo, Harvey Updyke, left, leaves the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika, Ala., with his bail bondsman and his attorney. Updyke, the University of Alabama fan convicted of poisoning Auburn University’s oak trees, failed to attend a hearing, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, on why he hasn’t paid court-ordered restitution. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Harvey Updyke, the Alabama Crimson Tide fan who poisoned the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner at Auburn University, has died. He was 71.

Updyke’s granddaughter confirmed his death to CBS 42 Thursday night.

Updyke famously, or infamously, poisoned the trees that are seen as a sanctuary for Auburn Tiger fans back in 2010 following Auburn’s win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. He subsequently called in to “The Paul Finebaum Show” to tell the host what he had done.

The damage to the trees, which had been a staple of Auburn life for decades, was irreparable and the university ultimately cut down the trees in 2013. New trees were planted in their place.

Updyke pleaded guilty in 2013 to poisoning the trees. He was ordered to pay $800,000 in penalties and restitution. He had been in and out of court over the payments over the last few years.


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