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Friday, February 18, 2011
Auburn tree poisoning suspect released

Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. -- The man charged in the poisoning of two oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner has been released from jail.

Lee County Sheriff's Major Tommy Carter said Friday evening that 62-year-old Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr. has posted bail, which was set at $50,000.

Police charged Updyke with first-degree criminal mischief on Thursday for allegedly using a tree-killing herbicide to poison the oaks. His release came on the eve of a scheduled rally at Toomer's Corner, where fans traditionally celebrate big wins.

The "Toomer's Tree Hug" had more than 8,000 confirmed guests on Facebook Friday night. It's scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the site where celebrations include rolling the trees with toilet paper.

The Facebook page for the rally says there won't be any actually tree-hugging.