Czech 'Guardian' Pine Tree wins European Tree of the Year 2020
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Published on

March 18 2020

The Czech Republic's 'Guardian of the Flooded Village' pine tree has been announced as this year's European Tree of the Year during last night's online ceremony, beating off tough competition from 15 other finalists.

The 'Guardian of the Flooded Village' is a remarkable 350 year old Scots pine from the village of Chudobín which grows on the rocky headland of the dam known as Vír. According to local legend, a devil sat under the pine in the night and played the violin, warding off intruders. 

The tree is the sole remaining memento, acting as a guardian over the flooded Czech village, proving a symbol of resistance to climate change and human impact. 

Guardian of the Flooded Village tree
Photograph: Marek Olbrzymek/2020 European Tree of the Year

Coming in at second place is Republic of Croatia's tree 'Ginkgo from Daruvar' with 28,060 votes and the Russian Federation's 'Lonely Poplar' with a very close 27,411 votes. 

The UK's entry, 'The Allerton Oak', came in at seventh place with 16,449 votes. Based in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, the sessile oak (Quercus Petraea) is around 1000 years old and immersed in history. Described as the oldest oak in the North West, the tree holds significant weight in both medieval times and World War Two, with Christmas cards containing leaves from the tree sent to the parks staff who were fighting abroad as a token and reminder of home.

Organised by the Environmental Partnership Association and the European Landowners’ Organisation, the European Tree of the Year award is a celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of trees and their impact on the local community.