Auburn Univesrity Toomer's Corner

Auburn University officials have testified about the hundreds of thousands of dollars they say the school has spent because of the poisoning of the oak trees at Toomer's Corner.

   The testimony came during a hearing Wednesday before Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker to determine how much restitution Harvey Updyke should pay for poisoning the famous oak trees.

   Walker did not rule and gave attorneys 30 days to submit briefs.

   Updyke's attorney, Andrew Stanley, said his client is indigent and only has $630 to his name.

The Auburn City Council has set April 23 as the date when the iconic Toomer's Oaks at Auburn University will be removed.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports removal of the trees will require closing city streets in the area.

City Manager Charlie Duggan said the removal has tentatively been set for 7 a.m. to noon on April 23, but the time is subject to change depending on weather and how long the removal takes.

A new report from Auburn University says the fire that damaged the oak trees at Toomer's Corner will make the trees even weaker than they were beforehand.

A study released on Monday says the trees already were in what it calls a "severe state of decline" from being poisoned.

The report says flames that severely damaged the trees on Nov. 18 will only worsen their condition.

It says damage will likely leave the trees without foliage all winter, reducing photosynthesis to even lower levels. That's important because plants use photosynthesis to survive.