Mar 21 2014

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Thousand year old Bulgarian elm tops poll for European Tree of the Year.

European Tree of the year 21st March-1A field elm in Bulgaria known as The Old Elm has been voted European Tree of the Year in an online contest run by Czech Environmental Partnership (Nadace Partnerství, NAP). This is the fourth year for the contest which pits trees from ten European countries against each other. Trees from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, and Wales were put to the online vote having each won national contests in their own country.

Unlike other contests, the age, beauty and height of the tree were not the most important features in the European Tree of the Year award with the focus being on the story the trees hold and their link with community around them. The ‘Old Elm’ of Sliven in easternBulgaria is the symbol of the City and features on its coat of arms and was described as “a speechless witness to Bulgaria’s turbulent and heroic past”.


Scotland’s entry, Niel Gow’s Oak in Perthshire, came  seventh. Ireland’s Birr Castle Grey Poplar in Co Offaly came eighth having sadly been blown over in storms earlier this month. Wales’ Oak at the Gate of the Dead, Wrexham, was ninth.

The contest’s coordinator Andrea Krůpová of the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation said:

“The trees that made it to the final are unique as they are the living eyewitnesses of many local or even national events, and are firmly rooted in the lives of their communities. It is a pity that they cannot tell us about their histories on their own”


To find out more about the trees that made it to the final visit the contests website.

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