Alabama Fan Who Poisoned Auburn Trees Dies at 71


A college football fan convicted of poisoning historic oak trees on the campus of Auburn University has died, according to reports.

Harvey Updyke, an Alabama football fan who applied herbicide to the trees after the Tide's 2010 Iron Bowl loss to arch-rival Auburn, died at age 71 of natural causes, his family confirmed to

Updyke was convicted in 2013 of felony criminal damage of an agricultural facility, served over two months in prison, and was ordered to pay as much as $800,000 in restitution. Court records showed he had repaid only about $6,000, according to ESPN.

Auburn fans and students traditionally celebrate Tigers wins by covering the trees in toilet paper.

Updyke called into a sports talk radio show in 2011 to boast about his activities.

He claimed he did it as retribution after Auburn fans had apparently placed a Cam Newton jersey on a statue of legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant on the school's campus in Tuscaloosa.

"This year I was at the Iron Bowl, and I saw where they put a Scam Newton jersey on Bear Bryant’s statue,” Updyke said. “Well let me tell you what I did. The weekend after the Iron Bowl I went to Auburn, Alabama, because I live 30 miles away, and I poisoned the two Toomer’s trees.

“I put Spike 80DF in them. ... They’re not dead yet but they definitely will die."

The trees did in fact die, and Auburn later replaced them.

Updyke was a retired Texas state trooper and lived in Louisiana, according to his son.