Ten spectacular trees have been shortlisted for this year’s Tree of the Year competition.
Several mighty old oaks dominate the shortlist, including Liverpool’s Allerton Oak that takes pride of place in Calderstones Park, the Isle of Wight’s Dragon Tree which truly is a monster specimen, and London’s Fallen Tree which is a fantastic example of nature beating the odds.
But there are also some interesting oddities worthy of winning the title, including Norfolk’s twisted conifer and Colchester Castle’s Sycamore that has been on top of the castle since the 1820s.
The Grantham-based Woodland Trust’s annual competition is designed to highlight and celebrate the best trees in the country. Once again it’s being supported by the award winning horticulturalist and TV personality David Domoney.
A carefully chosen panel of eager and knowledgeable judges spent a day debating the positives of hundreds of trees to find the very best trees that England has to offer. Ten visually stunning trees all with wonderful stories have made the shortlist.
We’re asking the public to go online at woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear to choose their favourite, to ultimately find England’s Tree of the Year for 2019.
The shortlist is:
· Allerton Oak, Liverpool, Merseyside (Oak)
· Dragon Tree, Brighstone, Isle of Wight (Oak)
· Kingley Vale Great Yew, Chichester, West Sussex (Yew)
· Addison’s Oak, Bristol (Oak)
· Fallen Tree, London (Oak)
· London Plane, Bryanston, Dorset (London Plane)
· Twisted, Thetford, Norfolk (Conifer)
· North Circular Cork Oak, London (Oak)
· The Colchester Castle Sycamore, Colchester, Essex (Sycamore)
· The Drive Oak, Gloucester, Gloucestershire (Oak)
David Domoney said: “The Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year celebrates the marvel and beauty of trees in our country. They are such an important part of our cities and countryside, not only for their beauty, but also for the health benefits they offer to all living creatures.
“Choosing the one tree that stands out from the rest is a hard decision, take a look for yourself. Vote for your favourite on the Woodland Trust’s website to crown England’s Tree of the Year for 2019.”
Adam Cormack, head of campaigning at the Woodland Trust said:
“The Tree of the Year competition is all about highlighting and celebrating the nation’s most remarkable and special trees. We have a fantastic number of ancient and veteran trees and many notable urban trees.
“Trees across the country are constantly under threat of felling due to inappropriate developments. The Tree of the Year competition is all about helping to raise the profile of trees in order to offer them better protection.
“All of our shortlisted trees look amazing and each of them has a wonderful story to tell. We’re sure that the public will show their passion and get behind their favourite. The shortlist includes trees from all over England – from Liverpool to the Isle of Wight.
“We have some strong contenders for the 2019 crown and we would encourage people to vote to support their favourite tree. We’re also calling on members of local Tree Charter branches to lend their support and get behind their favourite tree.”
As well as putting the nation’s best trees on the map, the awards – supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery – offer a £1,000 tree care award for each winning tree. This might be spent on works to benefit the tree’s health, signage, or a community celebration. There are £500 awards for runners-up.
Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager with People’s Postcode Lottery said: “I am delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting this celebration of the nation’s best loved trees. From botanical oddities to trees with historic connections or simply at the heart of their communities – these are great examples of trees which are cherished. I hope the competition will encourage more people to seek them out, enjoy them and vote for them.”
The Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition runs in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each country, thanks to the public vote, will have its own champion which will be represented in the 2020 European Tree of the Year contest.
Take a closer look at the shortlist and vote for your favourite tree at woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear. The website is open for entries from 9am on Monday 09 September. Voting closes at noon on 27 September.
The Tree of the Year competition is run in support of the Charter for Trees, Woods and People – an initiative that sets out 10 tree principles to embed into society for a future where people and trees are stronger together. Find out more and voice your support at treecharter.uk.