The polls are being flooded with votes for the hottest contest in all of Europe: The Tree of the Year Award. Most of these trees have been growing for hundreds of years, in preparation for this very moment.
Contestants hail from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, France, Italy and Wales. Each of these trees has a story to tell, some impressive and some heart wrenching.
Scotland’s woody competitor belonged to Neil Gow, the most famous fiddler in all of 18th century Scotland. That’s right, this behemoth Sessile Oak tree was nothing but a mere seed 300 years ago. Many leaves later, it has proven itself as the best tree in all of Scotland, and hopes to take Europe by storm as well.
On a more melancholy note, Wales’ entry has not lived a life of luxury. This Pedunculate oak has been around over a thousand years, long enough to witness the battle of Crogen, a brutal battle between Welsh and British troops in 1165. This is the first Welsh tree to be entered into the contest, and it plans on making a grand entrance.
The Woodland Trust, an organization who works towards preserving ancient trees in England and Scotland, is heavily backing the Welsh candidate. As of now, it is unclear how their support will effect the polls, although their clear passion for super old trees is certainly undeniable.
Every single one of these contestants has something to bring to the table. Bulgaria’s Field Elm is a “centuries-old silent witness of the city’s turbulent and heroic past” Slovakia has also entered a Pedunculate oak, although this one has experienced years of privilege, sitting in the garden that was once doctor and writer, Dr. Zechenter’s.
The competition is fierce. The contest is judged based on popular vote, and does not show these votes in the last week of voting, so at this point, it could be anyone’s game. Anyone of these trees could be awarded the prestigious honor of being European Tree of The Year.
Every vote counts, so make sure your voice is heard, and vote here. The winner will be announced in Brussels March 19th.
Take a look at all of this years contestants: