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Which tree did voters root for in European Tree of the Year 2020?

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Tens of thousands voted for their favourite in Tree of the year 2020
Tens of thousands voted for their favourite in Tree of the year 2020   -   Copyright  Credit: (left) Marek Olbrzymek (right) Nikolay Boshev
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Voters have rooted for a tree overseeing a flooded village in the Czech Republic in the European Tree of the Year competition.

The 350-year-old pine, called Guardian of the Flooded Village, sits above the village of Chudobín, which was flooded due to the construction of a dam.

Marek Olbrzymek
Guardian of the Flooded Village, Czech RepublicMarek Olbrzymek

According to local legend, a devil sat under the pine in the night and played the violin. However, it is more likely that they were hearing the strong winds blowing over the valley.

The results of the competition is usually held at the European Parliament in Brussels, but were moved online in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We wondered how to convey the joy of the results to sixteen European communities. Finally, we combined the tree stories and personal testimonies of the first three finalists into a video that can now be watched and shared among tree fans across borders,” said Josef Jary from the Environmental Partnership Association, the contest organiser.

Guardian of the Flooded Village received 47,226 votes to claim the prize. A tree in Croatia came second with 28,060, while third followed close behind in Russia.

Public institution for the management of protected areas of nature in the County of Bjelovar-Bilogora
Ginkgo from Daruvar, CroatiaPublic institution for the management of protected areas of nature in the County of Bjelovar-Bilogora
Nikolay Boshev
Lonely Poplar, RussiaNikolay Boshev

A total of 285,174 people took part in voting.

Here are some of the other contenders.

Quentin NOEL
The Tree of Freedom, BelgiumQuentin NOEL
Jill Jennings
The Allerton Oak, EnglandJill Jennings
Blarney Castle Estate, Ireland
Witch’s Yew TreeBlarney Castle Estate, Ireland
Rob Visser
The Witch Tree, NetherlandsRob Visser
Raquel Lopes
The Chestnut Tree from Vales, PortugalRaquel Lopes

The contest says it highlights the significance of trees in the natural and cultural heritage of Europe and the importance of the ecosystem services trees provide. It doesn't judge on the best looking tree, but looks a tree with a story, one rooted in the lives and work of the people and the community that surrounds it.

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