Tree-mendous! Sixteen hopefuls through to finals of Tree of the Year awards
The oldest is more than 600 years old, the highest measures over 26 metres and the widest canopy stretches almost 9 metres.
And they’re all on a list of 16 finalists published by ecologists from Klub Gaja in the ninth national Tree of the Year competition. The winners of an online poll will be announced in June.
Klub Gaja President Jacek Bożek explained that the final 16 had been selected by specialists in various fields from almost 50 entrants from around Poland. “The tree selected for the final are a symbol of local communities as well as part of Polish nature, culture and history,” Bożek commented.
Juror Jarosław Kasprzyk added that oaks are the most commonly proposed candidates, though other species also made the finalists’ shortlist: linden, pine, chestnut, mulberry, hornbeam, pear and elder.
“Oaks, due to their size and majestic appearance, arouse general admiration,” Kaszprzyk was quoted in a communique as saying. “But I think it’s also worth remembering other species. They are often trees with an interesting history, beautiful and stately, fulfilling a very important role in nature like wild-growing fruit trees providing food for birds.”
Among the finalists is a 500-year-old oak called Jagiellon from Rzepnik in the Podkarackie province. Its name is probably connected with events in the nearby village of Łączki Jagiellońskie (Jagiellonian Meadows). A wooden castle was supposed to have been built there, in which King Władsław Jagiełło stayed.
Another contender is an oak called Maciej from the village of Adamów in Mazowieckie province, probably a remnant of the Puszcza Jaktorowska forest, which was cut down after the January Uprising.
Another oak, the 600-700-year-old Pustelnik from Bełwin in Podkarpackie, bore mute witness in 1944-1947 to the brutal attack of Ukrainian nationalists.
The full list of finalists can be seen here: swietodrzewa.pl
The winners will be chosen by an online vote in June at: www.drzeworoku.pl