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“Tree of the Year: A Battle of Ancient and Iconic Icons!

Ancient trees have a certain kind of grace and timelessness that humans crave to connect with. We look for ways to connect ourselves to mark milestones and moments in time, the roots of these trees seem to allow us to do just that. With acid rain and deforestation becoming increasingly common, it’s no wonder why ancient trees are so important and why people have gathered in large numbers to cast their votes for the ‘Tree of the Year’ throughout the UK and Ireland. This competition began in 2014 in the UK and has since then spread to other countries in Europe such as France, Germany, Poland, and Czech Republic. The aim was to encourage people to learn more about the importance of trees and to spark a conversation about the environment’s sustainability. The rules of the competition are simple – people nominate trees from their local area and then they vote online and through media on the tree they think would make the best National Tree of the Year. This year’s competition is incredibly interesting because there are a few iconic trees that have stood the test of time. One of these is the Crack Willow in Scotland. The tree is said to be at least 300 years old and is still standing despite several storms that have rocked its branches. Another is the Charolais Oak which is located in France. This amazing oak tree is over 600 years old and stands near the Chateau de Chantilly. It is said to be one of the few trees that can be seen at the castle, making it a special symbol for the community. The fourth tree in the running is the ‘Shroud of the Kings’ Oak located in Co Galway in Ireland. This 250-years-old tree is particularly historic as it is said to be the meeting place for rank and file kings in Irish history. The tree has an interesting history of being a refuge for people during times of war as a result of its thick foliage. In the end, it is the people who will decide what tree will be crowned the National Tree of the Year. People can still cast their votes online or on social media and the results will be announced in May of 2021. Whichever tree wins it will be the representation of environmental awareness, maintenance and sustainability to the public.

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