Hungarian Plane Tree wins European Tree of the Year award
The winner of the third international contest European Tree of the Year organized by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation is the Plane tree in Eger, Hungary which scored 14,205 votes. Over 45,000 votes were cast in this year’s contest that aspires to bring attention to trees and their stories.
“The competition in the European contest was really tough. Trees from six European countries participated – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Ireland.” says Hana Rambousková, the contest coordinator from the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation. The trees were supported mainly by local communities.
The largest number of people – more than 14 thousand – cast their votes for the 250 years old plane tree that grows in the environs of the thermal spa in Eger, Hungary. The legend has it that in 1552, during the successfully defended Turkish attack against the Eger castle, the Turkish army was directed from under this tree. It seems though that the tree was planted together with many others during the 18th century.
People from all over the world voted for the trees in the contest from the 1st to the 28th February 2013 on www.treeoftheyear.org. Unlike in other contests, the age, beauty and height of the tree are not important. What is important is the story that the tree holds and the bond the locals have to the tree. The aim of the contest is to increase awareness of European trees and the historical and natural heritage which they represent.
“Through the stories of these trees which are connected to local communities, we try to make people interested in their local natural heritage. When people make a bond with the trees in their neighbourhood, they realize that these trees need to be taken care of, not to lose them.” explains Hana Rambousková.
The contest is organized with the financial support of the State Environmental Fund, Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic and Tetra Pak. The contest is supported by European Landowners’ Organisation and IUCN.
The Foundation will award the winning tree during the Green Week, an international conference in Brussels. More information about the contest on www.treeoftheyear.org.
Results of the voting:
1st place – Plane tree in Eger, Hungary – 14,205 votes
2nd place – Plane Tree in Kozy, Poland – 13,898 votes
3rd place – King Oak in Tullamore, Ireland – 5,785 votes
4th place – Lime Tree in the Nové Dvory Alley, Czech Republic – 4,636 votes
5th place – Plane Tree from Komjatice, Slovakia – 3,876 votes
6th place – The Mulberry and Walnut trees of Glushnik, Bulgaria – 2,737 votes