Slovak Tree of the Year is a London plane tree, or hybrid plane (Platanus x acerifolia, var. Hispanica) in Komjatice

THE WINNER of the annual popular poll Strom roka / Tree of the Year for 2012 is a London plane-tree from Komjatice in the Nové Zámky district. It is thought to be the thickest tree in Slovakia, with a trunk circumference of 930 centimetres. It received 2,296 votes, Milan Hronec of the Nadácia Ekopolis foundation told the SITA newswire on October 24. On the same day, he gave awards to all the winners. The winner will represent Slovakia in the European Tree of the Year competition, he added.

The Tree of the Year, a "London plane tree" in KomjaticeThe Tree of the Year, a "London plane tree" in Komjatice (Source: TASR )

THE WINNER of the annual popular poll Strom roka / Tree of the Year for 2012 is a London plane-tree from Komjatice in the Nové Zámky district. It is thought to be the thickest tree in Slovakia, with a trunk circumference of 930 centimetres. It received 2,296 votes, Milan Hronec of the Nadácia Ekopolis foundation told the SITA newswire on October 24. On the same day, he gave awards to all the winners. The winner will represent Slovakia in the European Tree of the Year competition, he added.

“The Tree of the Year received an award in the form of a dendrology certificate from the ISA Slovensko, the associated organisation of the International Society of Arboriculture; as well as a financial reward for expert treatment worth €333,” Hronec said, adding that the trees which placed second and third also got the same amount. A small-leafed linden (Tilia cordata) in Opiná, near Košice, placed second with 2,152 votes, and an eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra) in Sereď placed third with only 6 fewer votes than the linden.

“This year, 14,251 votes decided the fate of the 12 finalists, chosen from among 70 nominations Slovakia-wide,” Hronec added. This means that were 4,000 more votes than last year. The mission of this poll is to draw attention to old, precious or endangered trees and to encourage environmental awareness. The patron of this year’s competition was jazz musician Peter Lipa, whose name coincidentally means linden in Slovak. The deadline for nomination was May, and by then, 70 tips had been received, mostly from elementary schools which Hronec deemed very positive. A committee then chose 12 finalists and between July 5 and September 30, people were encouraged to cast their votes.

The winner stands in a park in Komjatice, is 138 years old, 28 metres tall and its trunk’s circumference is 930 centimetres. It is believed to be the thickest tree in Slovakia and one of seven biggest representatives of flora in Europe. Hronec considers it the biggest living creature in Slovakia. “Thanks to its imposing nature, it is a frequent subject of artworks,” Hronec concluded.

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