Over 40,000 votes were cast in this year’s European contest for the European Tree of the Year. The winner of the second edition of the contest is a lime tree from Hungary.
With more than 11,000 votes, gathered in the online competition against six other national winners from the participating countries, a four-hundred-year-old lime tree that grows in the Hungarian village of Felsőmocsolád scored the highest.
The second place was awarded to an elm from Romania, and a Bulgarian elm tree ended third. The award ceremony will be held by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation and IUCN on 23 May 2012 at the IUCN Office in Brussels where the trophy will be presented to the winner by the Czech artist Martin Patřičný.
Legend has it that many years ago, after a devastating forest fire, the winning 400-year-old lime tree gave the seeds to revive the forest, with the help of a “garabonciás” (in Hungarian mythology a male figure who performs magic). The lime tree now protects the new forest. This story was preserved by the Bánó family, who are living in the area. It is still a tradition for them to introduce the young members of their family to the tree.
The aim of the European Tree of the Year contest is to remind people of the environmental and cultural value of trees. “Through the stories of these trees which are connected to local communities, we try to make people interested in their local natural heritage. The high number of votes proves that there is public interest in trees and their importance for the environment which can become a part of the international dialogue on this matter,” says Hana Rambousková, the contest coordinator from the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation.
The contest was organized under the patronage of Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment with the financial support of the State Environmental Fund and the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic.
Results of the voting:
- 1st place – The old linden (11 158 votes)
- 2nd place – The Elm Tree from Căpeni (Köpec) (9 812)
- 3rd place – The Wish Tree (6 071 votes)
- 4th place – Lime Tree in Lipany (5 591)
- 5th place – The oak Grot in Dęblin (3 685)
- 6th place – Alley in Skalička (2 976 votes)
- 7th place – Pistacia lentiscus in Ghisonaccia (Haute-Corse) (2 056 votes)