Auburn University has created a Toomer's Oaks Update website that says the trees are "unlikely to survive." Updyke allegedly used an herbicide called Spike 80DF on the trees.
Surge Desk decided to learn more about Spike 80DF, which is manufactured by Dow Chemical:
1. It's powerful
The 80DF formulation is 80 percent tebuthiuron (the active ingredient) and 20 percent inert ingredients. Another Spike formulation that's widely available has 20 percent tebuthiuron and 80 percent inert ingredients.
2. It's designed for use in large areas
Suggested uses for Spike 80DF include clearing brush, woody plants and trees from fence rows, clearing areas for wildlife habitat and keeping railroad rights-of-way clear for passing trains.
3. It's not likely to harm passers-by
According to Dow's material safety data sheets, Spike 80DF has not been linked to cancer, reproductive damage or birth defects in laboratory testing. It's most likely to be harmful if it is ingested or if it comes in contact with eyes. Workers are advised to follow basic safety precautions by wearing goggles and skin-covering clothing while working with Spike 80DF.
4. It's not likely to harm other animals
Studies have shown that the active ingredient in Spike 80DF is not toxic to birds, bees and aquatic creatures.
5. It can contaminate groundwater
However, tebuthiuron is considered a significant threat to groundwater, as it moves easily through wet soil.
6. It kills from the roots up
Spike 80DF is a solid powdery substance that must be mixed with water before being applied to the soil around plants. It is absorbed by nearby roots and kills plants by interfering with photosynthesis. A tree that's been targeted with the herbicide may drop its leaves, regrow them and shed them again until its roots die.
More on the Auburn tree poisoning from Surge Desk:
Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr. Mugshot Rleased [PHOTO]
Who Is Harvey Almorn Udyke Jr., the Suspect in the Case
Auburn Tree Poisoning and 5 Other Pranks Born of College Rivalries
Follow Surge Desk on Twitter.