AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - At a time of year when most trees are filled with leaves, most of the branches of the oaks at Toomer's Corner are empty.
The sight of the trees in this state leaves many Auburn fans emotional.
"It was just very special. It was a place where we gathered and did different activities. It just breaks my heart that they are going to have to cut them back," said Auburn fan Scott Grimes about the oaks.
According to the city, Auburn University has hired a contractor to cut back withering branches from the trees. AU officials say the oaks are"being pruned significantly for safety reasons" and the work will be done under the supervision of Auburn Facilities Management.
"It is actually really sad because it's a staple of the Auburn tradition but it is also a beauty and landmark over here," said Auburn University graduate student Benjamin Culpepper.
Officials say some lanes Magnolia Avenue and College Street will be closed from about 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday for tree maintenance.
While experts continue work on the icons, the community will continue to wait to see exactly what will happen to the these famous oaks that have so much meaning to Auburn fans.
Auburn University released a statement Wednesday saying, "While long-term decisions about the trees have not been made, fans are still welcome to gather at the corner this fall and continue the tradition of rolling the trees with toilet paper".
"Anything is possible. But I think they have shown some good signs, but I think the decision to prune them back now is probably for the better," said Grimes.
Harvey Updyke, the man accused of poisoning the trees, still awaits trial.