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Small-leaf lime is Tree of the Year

A 320-YEAR-old small-leaf lime growing in Lipany in eastern Slovakia has been chosen as Slovakia’s Tree of the Year for 2011. Interestingly, the Slovak word for a lime tree, or linden, is “lipa” so the tree comes from its namesake town. The winning tree attracted 1,699 of the 10,167 votes that were cast in the competition.

A 320-YEAR-old small-leaf lime growing in Lipany in eastern Slovakia has been chosen as Slovakia’s Tree of the Year for 2011. Interestingly, the Slovak word for a lime tree, or linden, is “lipa” so the tree comes from its namesake town. The winning tree attracted 1,699 of the 10,167 votes that were cast in the competition.

“The lime from Lipany will represent Slovakia in the competition for the European Tree of the Year,” Milan Hronec of the Nadácia Ekopolis foundation, a co-organiser of the programme, told the SITA newswire. The lime tree stands next to St Martin’s church in the town and local residents consider it an honorary citizen. It is 23 metres tall with a trunk circumference of 536 centimetres.

Second place went to another lime tree, from Kameničany in the Ilava district, that is 500 years old with a trunk circumference of 550 centimetres. Third place was taken by a 350-year-old service tree, Sorbus domestica, from Bošáca in the Nové Mesto nad Váhom district.

The three winning trees were chosen from among 12 finalists in voting that lasted from July 7 to September 30. In all, 91 trees were nominated this year. “Most nominations came from nature lovers,” said Daniel Kollár of the Dajama Publishing House, the competition’s other co-organiser.

The Tree of the Year competition has been held in Slovakia for nine years. It aims to draw attention to old, rare and endangered trees and to evoke people’s interest in nature. Each of the top three trees is awarded €333 in prize money that can be used for its care or to improve its surroundings.

“The third tree, the service tree from Bošáca, will be saved with this money as it is threatened by cleavage,” Hronec said, adding that the main concern at this time is to support a huge branch that makes up one-third of the tree.

All individuals who nominated a tree will receive books from Dajama and the nominators of the top three trees will also receive vouchers from the Artforum bookshop.

The winning lime tree stands in the area of an old lime forest which was almost completely logged, with only seven trees remaining. Until the 16th century, Lipany was called Sedem Líp (Seven Limes) and the town has kept the symbol of seven lime trees in its coat of arms.


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