Vote in the jubilee 15th volume of the inquiry Tree of The Year

Until the end of the September 2017, interested people can send their vote to one of 12 trees – finalists of the inquiry Tree of The Year, with the vote they will support its conditioning treatment. The aim of the inquiry, whose 15th volume is organised by The Ekopolis Foundation is to highlight old, rare or endangered trees and to raise people’s interest in the environment. The winning tree will represent Slovakia in the competition European Tree of The Year. The main partner is The Foundation of Slovenská sporiteľňa. The inquiry was next supported by ISA Slovakia (International Society of Arboriculture), the publishing house Dajama, the bookshop Artforum and the garden-husbandry ABIES. The patron of the inquiry is for the sixth year the signer Peter Lipa.

The inquiry Tree of The Year for us already symbolise tradition which contributes to sustainability of our natural resources. We are happy to see people’s interest in rare trees, which is manifested by engagement in the inquiry. Deepening the relationship of people towards protection of the environment and upbringing to the responsibility for the environment in which we live, are topics which need to be addressed in the long term.” stated Danica Lacová, the manageress of The Foundation of Slovenská sportiteľňa.

Any favorite tree could be registered into the inquiry by individuals, towns, municipalities, schools, companies or organisations. At the beginning of the July, committee chose 42 registered trees and than 12 finalists. Public voting about the winner of the inquiry started on the 6th of June 2017 on the festival Pohoda in Trenčín and it will run until the end of September. Voting is possible in form of voting ticket, via sms, on the website and even on the social media Facebook – Photos and stories of trees – finalists are published on the website of The Ekopolis Foundation. In October, the competition will be evaluated and the tree with the biggest number of votes will win the title Tree of The Year 2017.

The winning tree will obtain a reward in the form of a dendrological report by ISA Slovakia, financial contribution for conditioning treatment worth 300 euros and it will compete in the competition European Tree of The Year. Trees which will in the inquiry end on the second and third place will equally obtain monetary amount woŕth 300 euros, which they can use for a conditioning treatment or for an ambient adjustment. Three nominees and three voters will be rewarded by book cheques by the bookshop Artforum. “Third year in row there will be also a competition between schools in the number of votes. First three schools which will collect the biggest amount of voting tickets will obtain a planting material by the gardening-husbandry ABIES worth 500 euros.” added Milan Hronec, the program manager of The Ekopolis Foundation.

12 finalists of the inquiry Tree of The Year 2017:

1. Sweet chestnut Hradište, region of Poltár 350 years
2. Oriental plane tree Jelka, region of Galanta 350 years
3. Common alder Uňatín, region of Krupina 50 years
4. Common oak Želiezovce, region of Levice 350 years
5. American plane tree Sereď, region of Galanta 210 years
6. Large Leaf linden Jabloňovce, region of Levice 235 years
7. Scots pine Hlohovec, region of Hlohovec 120 years
8. Apple tree Bošáca, region of Nové Mesto nad Váhom 120 years
9. Common oak Kráľovce-Krnišov, region of Krupina 490 years
10. Aspen Sedliská, region of Vranov nad Topľou 240 years
11. Apple tree Babinec, okres Rimavská Sobota 120 years
12. Turkey oak Pozba, region of Nové Zámky 450 years


Storied of nominated trees for 2017:

Tree n.1 – Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)

Hradište, region of Poltár

Location: Hradište – local cemetery

Age: 350 years old, perimeter: 667 cm, height: 30 m

The chestnut of Poltár is probably the oldest and the largest chestnut in whole Slovakia. It was planted by Turks or their peers from Fiľakovo’s sadžak. The chestnut doesn’t grow alone, with another near chestnut they are the last two historical but healthy mohicans in the village and in the surrounding. The tree is so massive, that the grandfather of the owner, had to tie himself for safety reason while he was cutting branches or collecting chestnuts.


Tree n.2 – Oriental plane tree (Platanus orientalis)

Jelka, region of Galanta

Location: village Jelka – on the estate, at the end of the village towards Veľké Úľany

Age: 350 years old, perimetry: 900 cm, height: 35 m

The legend says that once there was a castle Ilka at the edge of the forest in the village Jelka. It is said that the king Belo IV. gave the lord of the castle Jelka a young tree as a gift, because he saved his life against Tatars. According to the narrative of our ancestors, even the king Matej Hunyadi took a break in the shadow of the tree, after a long journey. Yet in the recent past, children were playing under the tree, admiring its patulous crown and numerous massive branches. They needed ten people to hug him. People say that during Rákoczi’s fights, even the captain Bercsényi with his commanders were holding sessions under the plane tree of Jelka.


Tree n.3 – Common alder (Alnus glutinosa L.)

Uňatín, region of Krupina

Location: in coast’s bushes of the Krupnica’s watercourse

Age: 50 years old, perimetry: 580 cm, height: 15 m

Common alder whose roots recall labyrinths of mangrove stands, typical multiroot with cavity inside evoques folk stories and legends about forest robbers treasures, shelters or animal occupants. Green crown shielding the river in the hot summer invites into its hug as a cosy green cave. In slovakia there is less and less of unregulated watercourses, so to find, see and experience places like this is exceptional, as much as these precious, old and beautiful trees are. They are completing coastal ecosystem on the border of water and land.


Tree n.4 – Common oak (Quercus robur L.)

Želiezovce, region of Levice

Location: city park in Želiezovce

Age: 350 years old, perimetry: 570 cm, height: 20 m

The Esterházi family took care for blossom of the park in Želiezovce. They were one of the most popular houses in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who built a manor-house in Želiezovce and in 1785 in its surrounding created expansive english park. Three valuable oaks were planted by Johann Karl Esterházy at occasion of the birth of his children Marie, Caroline and Albert. Under this tree, the Esterházi family was spending their free time and many of family photos were taken exactly from under this oak. Very frequent hosts were staying here, for example Franz Sacher, the author of the legendary Vienna desert, or the composer Franz Schubert who was the music teacher for daughter of Ján Esterházy.


Tree n.5 – American plane tree (Platanus occidentalis L.)

Sereď, region of Galanta

Location: castle park in Sereď

Age: 21 years old, perimetry: 460 cm, height: 30 m

Nominated plane tree located in the castle park in Sereď from earliest time fascinates all visitors of the park and the mansion in Sereď. This tree will ravish everybody with its beauty, height, age or nobleness and looking at it is definitely worth it. The plane tree was planted during the reign of the significant house Esterházi, when they were recreating the courtyard and moats in their baroque styled residence into the english type of park.


Tree n.6 – Large Leaf linden (Tilia platyphyllos Scop.)

Jabloňovce, region of Levice

Location: the courtyard of the evangelical castle in the part Horné Jabloňovce

Age: 235 years old, perimetry: 515 cm, height: 25 m

The linden in Jabloňovce is the living witness of the history, which reminds us and teaches us from where we are, who we are and where we are going… The linden was planted in 1782 by evangelical churchmans at occasion of the publishing the Patent of Toleration by Joseph II., as an expression of joy from the religious freedom. If somebody wants to hug this linden, he won’t make it by himself, he needs help of others. Person is asked to give hand to other person so they can make a chain. The tree puts fates of whole generations into its annual rings, and we are somewhere there. This is also a message of the tree with heart shaped leaves…


Tree n.7 – Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Hlohovec, region of Hlohovec

Location: castle park near the mansion in Hlohovec

Age: 120 years old, perimetry: 330 cm, height: 22 m

In the castle park, which is registered as a national cultural monument, we can find the largest plane grove in middle Europe and it is possible, that the largest in the whole Europe. The scots pine is one of the few preserved conifers and it is the oldest conifer in the park. According to records, but also according to local people, the majority of conifers was cut down during the World War II. when their wood was used to build a temporary bridge across the river Váh. Considering the history and the cut down of 1557 trees for the bridge, we can identify it as the “tree that survived”.


Tree n.8 – Apple tree, variety Citrónové zimné Zabudišovské (Malus domestica, Borkh.)

Bošáca, region of Nové Mesto nad Váhom

Location: cadastral territory of village Bošáca, local area of the village Zabudišová

Age: 120 years old, perimetry: 251 cm, height: 13 m

The ancient apple tree is the memory of wandering growers, who are no longer among us, but their trees grow and actually produce fruits event after hundred years. The apple tree is situated on the edge of the road and so it can make passers-by happy with spring flowers, summer shadow and apples, that will last in cellar until the next summer. It is not very known but very precious forgotten regional variety. Today, the tree is a beautiful torso and it has astonishing internal vitality, it constantly replace lost parts with life and the strength of shoots indicates that it will reach them into the sky for a long time. When we sit into its shadow, we can take its knowledge how to not give up and face up life challenges.


Tree n.9 – Common oak (Quercus robur)

Kráľovce-Krišnov, region of Krupina

Location: on the edge of the forest vegetation in the cadaster of the village Kráľovce-Krišnov

Age: 490 years old, perimetry: 627 cm, height: 22 m

Koháry’s oak grows on the edge of the forest vegetation on the cadaster of the village Kráľovce-Krišnov. It belongs to the largest and the oldest oaks in Slovakia. Especially the members of the most significant house of Hont – Koháry were looking for a rest in the shadow of crown. They owned estates of Sitno and Čabraď and they were founders of the mansion in Svätý Anton. Koháry’s oak were given its name after Andrej Koháry (1694-1757), who was the district administrator of Hont.


Tree n.10 – Aspen (Populus tremula)

Sedliská, region of Vranov nad Topľov

Location: local area Podčičva, near the river Ondava, under the castle Čičva

Age: 240 years old, perimetry: 600 cm, height: 20 m

Considering the age of the tree, we estimate that it was planted in the former count park of the count Barkózci who had an estate in Tovarné. Beside the tree, location is dominated by ruins of the previous guard castle Čičva from 13th century. The castle was owned by notoriously well known Alžbeta Báthory (the dame of Čachtice) and on this castle in 1575 her magnificent wedding reception with 4500 guests took place. As a fifteen years old she married the hungarian magnate František Nadášdy.


Tree n.11 – Apple tree (Malus domestica)

Babinec, region of Rimavská Sobota

Location: near cart-road towards the hamlet Klinovo

Age: 120 years old, perimetry: 250 cm, height: 13 m

The hamlet Klinovo started to spring probably 150 years ago, so the apple tree was planted, respectively it was grafted by the first inhabitants, who were originally from Lom nad Rimavicou. In the chronicle of the village, a local teacher describes fruit growing as a important resource of income for local people. We are talking about majestic apple tree, it is still vital and it regularly harvests fruits in form of big yellow apples with red cheeks. The apple tree is the witness of an expansion but also decline of fruit growing in Gemer and Malohont. Fruits from this area usually ended up in the Budapest’s markets, later in Horehronie or Liptov, however over time the meaning of fruit growing declined and sadly also this apple tree was forgotten by man.


Tree n.12 – Turkey oak (Quercus cerris)

Pozba, region of Nové Zámky

Location: near cart-road at the distance of the 3th class road Pozba – Dedinka

Age: 450 years old, perimetry: 317 cm, height: 17 m

Tankoš’s oak grows above the pilgrimage place Studnička Sedembolestnej Panny Márie. Archaic tree and the spring create together unique spiritual atmosphere. This place is each week visited by hundreds of believers, who in the shadow of this exceptional tree find rest and spend here some time in prayers. As well as for needs of those believers – pilgrims, in future they would like to create here a resting area with an arbor and benches.



The author of photographies is Martin Babarik (1975, Hrnčiarske Zalužany) – grafik, fotograf, spisovateľ. The member of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists.


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