- Associated Press - Friday, February 18, 2011

AUBURN, ALA. (AP) - 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.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) _ Auburn fans have scheduled a rally for the poisoned oak trees at Toomer’s Corner, where fans traditionally rally to celebrate big wins.

The “Toomer’s Tree Hug” was approaching 8,000 confirmed guests on Facebook by Friday morning. It’s scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the site where celebrations include rolling the trees with toilet paper.

Police charged 62-year-old Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr. with first-degree criminal mischief on Thursday for allegedly using a tree-killing herbicide to poison the oaks.

The Facebook page for the rally says there won’t be any actually tree-hugging but “the hugs should be reserved for other members of the Auburn Family who need a shoulder in this painful time.”

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