A COMPETITION to select the first European Tree of the Year was organised in Slovakia by the Nadácia Ekopolis foundation and in the Czech Repbulic by the Nadace Partnerství foundation. Similar national polls were held in five other European countries with the goal of bringing issues concerning the protection of trees to a wider European public. More than 56,000 votes were cast to determine the European Tree of the Year for 2010.
The final placement among the nominated trees was a follows: in first place, a 500-year old lime tree in Leliceni, Romania (23,298 votes); in second place, a plane tree (sycamore) from Garmen, Bulgaria (18,374 votes); in third, a plane tree from Letenye, Hungary (8,836 votes); in fourth, an oak from Dubinné, Slovakia (3,403 votes) and in fifth place, another oak from the Olomouc region of the Czech Republic.
The awards were announced on March 7 by Nadace Partnerství in cooperation with the Czech Republic’s Environmental Fund and Environment Ministry. Slovakia’s Nadácia Ekopolis is now organising the 9th year of its poll to select Slovakia’s Tree of the Year for 2011 and those interested in nominating a tree can do so on the www.ekopolis.sk webpage until May 20, after which a shortlist of finalists will be determined.
The competition for European Tree of the Year was quite strong in 2010. The wining lime in Leliceni is almost 20 metres tall and has been standing its ground for nearly 500 years. According to locals, it has survived several disasters including droughts, hailstorms, fires and floods. Leliceni residents believe it stands in a lucky place.
Slovakia’s oak in Dubinné (which hints at the Slovak word for oak, dub) is surely one of the oldest oaks in Europe as it is about 850 years old, stands 25 metres tall and has a circumference of 730 centimetres. The oak has also survived several crises: it was almost logged when it was deleted from the list of protected trees by a clerical error. After the tree was treated by experts in 2007, locals believe it will survive for a long time yet and will continue to represent its village, the region of Prešov, and Slovakia.
For more information on the 2010 and 2011 competitions, see www.ekopolis.sk or www.treeoftheyear.org.
4. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská