Saturday, July 9, 2022



The European Tree of the Year contest originated in 2011. It was inspired by the popular Tree of the Year contest, which has been organised in the Czech Republic by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation for many years.

The purpose of the European Tree of the Year is to highlight the significance of old trees in the natural and cultural heritage that deserve care and protection. Unlike other contests, the European Tree of the Year doesn't focus on beauty, size or age but rather on the tree's story and its connection to people, trees that have become a part of the wider community.

Following are the 15 finalists, counting down to the winner, placing being determined by votes received . . .


Name of tree: I Am Tilia

Species: Large-leaved Lime

Age: 150 years

Country: The Netherlands

Votes: 24,201

The tree’s story (this commentaries are the words of the persons nominating each tree, not my words):

I am Tilia, a vibrant, modern woman in the bloom of my life, only 150 years young. Rooted in my local community, I reach out to the world, being the first tree in history with an Instagram account. Over 3.000 followers from London to Teheran view my journey through the seasons, one picture at a time. Planted at the beginning of the carbon emission age, I have a deep concern for climate change: I don’t eat meat, I don’t fly, I even absorb CO2. I am climate proof and great for biodiversity. I live and breathe for generations to come.


Name of tree: Grandpa Kolyo's tree

Species: English Oak

Age: 350 years

Country: Bulgaria

Votes: 24,431

The tree’s story:

The oak is named after the owner of the field where it grows – Nikola Angelov, known as Grandpa Kolyo. After hard work he would rest under its thick shade. Legend has it that the tree was part of a dense forest, located where the village lies today. Because of the forest and the river, its first residents settled there and founded the village. They were Bulgarians, hiding from the Turkish forays. This old oak is a symbol of Studena and a pillar of the Bulgarian spirit and faith of its residents.


Name of tree: The King’s Pine

Species: Scots Pine

Age: 380 years

Country: Estonia

Votes: 25,346

The tree’s story:

The majestic King's Pine grows in Järvselja, Southern Estonia. It sprouted at the same time that King Gustavus Adolphus II of Sweden founded the University of Tartu, about 380 years ago. Hundreds of Estonian biologists, foresters and students of other specialties, whose academic education has typically included internships in Järvselja research forests, recognize the tree well. It is a symbolic tree, the powerful sturdy trunk of which is a monument to Estonian forestry and nature education.


Name of tree: The Giant Sequoia of the Collège Notre Dame de Bonlieu

Species: Giant Sequoia

Age: More than 200 years

Country: Belgium

Votes: 25,724

The tree’s story:

The redwood is the emblematic tree of the Collège Notre-Dame du Bonlieu. It sits in the honorary entrance of the College, where it has welcomed and still welcomes thousands of students. Many group photos have been taken at the foot of this majestic tree. He was depicted in a comic strip by an iconic Belgian author. This redwood is an important tree for the city of Virton, the school and its students, because it is an important part of the wooded heritage, and thanks to the biodiversity it hosts.


Name of tree: The giant sequoia from Slatina

Species: Giant Sequoia

Age: Approximately 130 years

Country: Croatia

Votes: 26,225

The tree’s story:

The giant sequoia tree in Slatina is the only protected specimen of it's kind in Croatia. It is among the oldest in Europe and is protected as a natural monument in Croatia. One of the most aristocratic European families, the Schaumbug-Lippes, folllowed the 19th century horticultural trends by planting this sequoia. The oldest redwoods were also planted at this time in England, outside their natural habitat. The giant redwood tree is part of the EPIcentar Sequoia Slatina which is a new tourist oasis in Slatina's town centre.


Name of tree: The weeping sophoras of the Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen

Species: Hanging Japanese Acacia

Age: 100 years

Country: Hungary

Votes: 26,347

The tree’s story:

The Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen was opened on 7 October, 1865. The trees in front of the building are 100 years old and they have a huge vaulted crown canopy. They often looked through the windows of the theatre, and every night they had something to talk about. They looked behind the scenes, saw thousands of successes and failures, experienced periods of need and glittering years. Our trees are curiosities in Hungary as well, they are under local protection, the people in Debrecen love and protect them.


Name of tree: Age Grand Oak

Species: English Oak

Age: 250 years

Country: Latvia

Votes: 27,098

The tree’s story:

After the Soviet occupation our family regained our grandfather’s farmlands. We found a mighty oak standing firm on the bank of river Aģe. We cleared it of bushes and named it Aģe Grand Oak. It inspired us to realise that Latvia has the second largest density of grand trees in Europe. Now the oak is the starting point of the Poweroak hike and it has inspired us to plant a new Poweroak grove. Aģe Grand Oak has become a popular tree in the Limbaži region. With the awakening of the Latvian nation, this oak tree has opened up to the world to celebrate, educate and inspire! - Ivars Smits caregiver of Age Grand oak


Name of tree: The Multisecular Sweet Chestnut of Audran Square

Species: Sweet Chestnut

Age: 330 years

Country: France

Votes: 28,119

The tree’s story:

Remembrance of vast woods and pastures, the most famous Chestnut Tree of the city of La Celle Saint-Cloud is not very high, because its branches used to be cut to make vineyard stakes. But over three centuries, it has spread its amazing wide silhouette and twisted its trunk's bark, making it a real sculpture today. He was a lonely tree in the middle of his meadow, but the city has grown all around! The country tree has become a very popular urban tree, today the central piece of a square, redeveloped especially to showcase this little treasure.


Name of tree: The Singing Lime

Species: Large-leaved Lime

Age: 700 years

Country: Czech Republic

Votes: 28,649

The tree’s story:

The Singing (or the Lukas) Lime is one of the oldest and biggest trees in the Czech Republic. Legend has it that at the end of 17th century an old, hard of hearing man was hiding inside the hollow trunk, singing loudly while transcribing forbidden psalms. Passersby thought the tree itself was singing. People draw its energy or look for the inspiration which the tree has become to many artists. They repay it through their care, for instance, when it was damaged by wood-decay fungus or struck by lightning. Today its descendants grow not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad.

More to come.

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