Students say goodbye to Scottsboro High victory tree

Students say goodbye to Scottsboro High victory tree
Scottsboro High Schools students said goodbye to a tree that will be removed because of storm damage. (Source: WAFF)

SCOTTSBORO, AL (WAFF) - A longstanding tradition in Scottsboro will soon end.

A tree often rolled by students for victories was severely damaged by storms last week. Now the decision has been made to remove it.

On Tuesday, students gave the tree a farewell.

The post oak tree has been at Scottsboro High School for nearly two decades, and it's removal is going to have an impact on those young and old alike.

The student body gathered around the school's only post oak tree to say goodbye.

"Victory tree, we love you and we'll be back here again and we'll think about you very often," said Scottsboro School Superintendent Jay Reyes.

Storms last week damaged the tree and experts determined the more than 200-year-old tree was largely hollow.

"It falling down at some point in time is imminent and so for safety reasons we have to take the tree down," said Reyes.

The tree has a 17-year-old history of being rolled for senior classes but also sporting victories dating back to the year 2000.

"Cross country and track is not the big sport. It's a chance for them to show what they did and when this tree was rolled everybody knew what had happened," said former track coach John Esslinger.

Many of these students have fond memories of the old tree. The senior class made their final picture with the tree knowing the tradition will be void for future classes.

"There's walls and bricks and the whole building but the tree is what completes the school and the campus," said Scottsboro High senior Caroline Estes.

Portions of the tree are going to be saved but what they do with it will be determined over the course of the next several weeks.

School officials warned students and others to stay away from the tree and it will be guarded by Scottsboro police.

Dismantling of the tree is expected to begin Wednesday morning.

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