Fifteen European trees, only one winner – Voting has started!
From February 1st to 28th people can choose a tree with the most astonishing story in the 9th edition of the European Tree of the Year contest. Online voting is open now at www.treeoftheyear.org. Last year, 200,000 votes were cast. This time organisers from the Environmental Partnership Association (EPA) are expecting an even greater turnout as this year’s edition will welcome two new participants from France and the Netherlands. The number of countries involved has thus reached fifteen, making the European Tree of 2019 one of the most widespread international contests on the old continent.
The age of the tree contestants varies from 500 to 65 years. The whitebeard of the 2019 annual competition is the Gubec Linden from Croatia: witness of the Great Peasant Revolt from 1573. The competition youngster is the 65 year old Kneeling Maple Tree from Poland, that gained its name from its unusual look. Among unconventionally shaped candidates also belong the Cork Oak from Southern Corsica with the outline of a bird spreading its wings, the Seven-Trunk Lime Tree from Lithuania and the UK representant a Beech Tree in the form of a letter N.
Several survivor trees are represented in the contest including the Pet-Oak from the Netherlands, the only one left standing after the construction of a highway and now highly endangered due to a coming reconstruction. Similarly, the Lime Tree of Liberty from Czechia is the only tree planted in honour of the foundation of Czechoslovakia that has survived until today in a small Moravian city. Likewise, the Plane Tree from Romania was saved by its community from being cut down.
This year many trees are closely connected with religious places including the Hungarian Almond Tree, a symbol of eternal renewal and education; the monumental Red Beech from Belgium protecting the park behind the 17th century Our Lady chapel; the impressive Venerable Turkey Oak growing near the 15th century St. Nicholas Church in Bulgaria or the Lime Tree from Slovakia protecting one of the oldest sacred structures in the country.
Among other fascinating stories shared this year are the Secular Holm Oak from Portugal with its great shadow, the English Oak from the Moscow region that has encountered many outstanding Russian people of art or the Spanish participant the Elm of Navajas, one of the greatest sources of historical pride in a small town of 750 inhabitants.
Standings in the European Tree of the Year contest will go secret as the vote enters its final phase — from 22nd to 28th February. This way, fans and supporters will not know the winner until the final announcement is made. Winners will be honoured at the Award Ceremony hosted by MEP Pavel POC at the European Parliament in Brussels on March 19th.
Read full tree stories at: www.treeoftheyear.org
Download the tree pictures here (Click for download)