The winning trees from 13 countries are now vying for the big prize: European Tree of the Year 2018.
Every year since 2011, the consortium of European eco foundations known as the Environmental Partnership Association has held one of the world’s great contests: The European Tree of the Year. The contestants – this year there are 13 – are the winners of national rounds, voted upon by communities hoping to send their best competitors to the finals. The brief for this year's contest? Trees with the most interesting stories. The following 13 fascinating finalists (in alphabetical order by country) are vying for the crown ... even if we all know that every tree is a winner already. Voting begins February 1 – may the best tree win!
1. Belgium: The Lime of the Old CountrySpecies: Small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata)
Age: 400 years
Region: Bioul, Wallonia, Belgium
The stately lime tree (pictured above) from Vî Payîs is the largest small-leaved lime tree in the country, and is one of the most outstanding trees in Wallonia, say its nominators. "The roles that have been attributed to it, as nobility or a landmark, have died out over time. The fact that this tree has resisted all assaults and threats can only be understood as a collective desire to preserve it as a symbol or parcel of memory. It continues to be the subject of attention and admiration by the population."