Saturday, March 27, 2021

EUROPEAN TREE OF THE YEAR, Part 1

 


I have previously posted about the European Tree of the Year.

It is an annual contest held to find the most 'loveable tree' in Europe and has been running since 2011. The contest selects a tree from participating countries (now 15 in number) by public vote. Most countries hold a national poll to select their entrant for each year. The winner is announced at an awards ceremony in late March held in the EU Parliament, Brussels.

The European Tree of the Year 2021 was announced last Sunday.

Working from the lowest number of votes to the greatest number, here are the nominated trees and their stories . . .

 

No:

14

Country:

Bulgaria

Tree:

The Old Mulberry

Species:

Mulberry

Age:

Around 450 years

Votes:

30,055

(Commentaries from the European Tree of the Year awards, being the text provided by the nominators)

The Old Mulberry has proudly stood for centuries at the central town square – now a public garden. It brings together young and old people to pass time together and enjoy the tree and a fountain. Back in time, near the veteran tree was the town pub. The centuries have passed the story of Stefan Karadzha – renowned national revolutionary. He outwitted the head of the local administrative unit by succeeding to hide in this much visited and noticeable pub, during a chase by the Ottoman army unit.

 

 

No:

13

Country:

Slovakia

Tree:

Ancient Oak from Drnava

Species:

Oak

Age:

700 years

Votes:

30,058

The old oak is located next to the former grounds of Count Andrássy's famous iron-plant in Drnava. It was here in the 1940s that the structural parts of the famous Chain Bridge "Lánchíd" in Budapest were cast, for which the village earned the nickname "Kis Pest"- Little Pest. Today the tree is one of the stops on the nature trail on the old trade route and has been an integral symbol of the village for several generations. There is mention of the stout oak in the municipal chronicle as early as 1670.

 


 

No:

12

Country:

Belgium

Tree:

The Four-Trunked Survivor

Species:

Chestnut

Age:

160 years

Votes:

30,886

During the First World War the city of Ypres was totally destroyed, but the root stump of this tree remained alive there. From the base of the trunk 4 new side trunks grew up spontaneously. They also survived the Second World War, when Ypres was cold and almost all trees were cut down to firewood. The Four-trunked Chestnut became a unique survivor from pre-war Ypres. This living monument, with a trunk base of no less than 9.10 meters in circumference, now symbolizes the force of survival, located next to the world famous Menin Gate.

 


 

No:

11

Country:

Scotland

Tree:

The Survivor Tree

Species:

Rowan

Age:

70-100 years

Votes:

31,197

Borders Forest Trust based its slogan: “Where one tree survives, a million trees will grow,” on a lone rowan clinging to a stream bank in Carrifran Valley. Today that survivor tree is lonely no more! It is surrounded by a little forest of its children and In addition to its own children, the rowan tree now has over half a million other native Scottish trees for company. The rowan tree no longer stands alone and is a symbol of the 20-year journey to revive the wild heart of Southern Scotland.

 



No:

10

Country:

Croatia

Tree:

The Eldest Resident of Medulin –

Chocolate Tree of our Memories

Species:

European Nettle Tree

Age:

115 years

Votes:

31,283

Years fly by she tells us. The town square was always alive. With a market, dances, centuries-old traditions as Carnival Prince burning or ritual May thefts when young men show courage and love to girls by stealing flowers, fences, cars or boats from locals who find them under the town square tree. Today she enjoys a movie or play, sways at summer concerts, sings for Christmas when she dresses up to spend time with locals and guests. Above all she loves children's play and laughter, she'll treat them to magical chocolate berries in the future too. So she says, the eldest resident of Medulin, our town square Nettle Tree.

 



No:

9

Country:

France

Tree:

The Pouplie

Species:

Black Poplar

Age:

200 – 300 years

Votes:

31,594

Fondly nicknamed The Pouplie for 2 centuries, this black poplar is huge for France (girth 9.6m and 38m high). Last of old poplars, soul of the village, her gold leaves adorns it's coat of arms. She is said to be the incarnation of a nymph, daughter of the sun, who mourned for her dead brother by the river. The Pouplie was a sentinel during WW1, soldiers watching the enemy from her heights. Located on a buildable private site and weakened by a fire, villagers wish to protect her for many more years.

 


 

No:

8

Country:

Hungary

Tree:

The Judas Tree on the Church Hill of Mélykút

Species:

Judas Tree

Age:

250 years

Votes:

31,867

The tree was planted in 1750 by Franciscan monks from Subotica on a hill in the north side of the church that was being built in the village at the time. It is a miracle that this Medditerrenean species is still alive there. Its spring blooming is admired by everyone and has become a symbol of the settlement. Countless seedlings from it live in the gardens of people from Mélykút, thus connecting the past with the present and the settlement with its former inhabitants around the world.

 


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Part 2 to come.

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