“Majestic” beech wins ‘European Tree of the Year’ award

Published 24 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The Polish beech tree received 39,000 votes.

Poland’s 200-year-old tree, popularly known as the ‘Heart of the Garden’, has been named European Tree of the Year for 2024 – the third year in a row that Poland has won the award.

With over 39,000 votes, the Polish tree won this year’s competition for Europe’s ‘most loved’ tree. The tree is located in the Botanical Garden of the University of Wroclaw and is a beech (Fagus sylvatica).

“The Heart of Garden grows in the centre of an old park. Its majestic appearance impresses with its unusually shaped and thick trunk, widely spread branches, and purple-coloured leaves. It is a living proof of an old park’s historic turmoil and dominates over the Arboretum situated around it”, says the European Tree of the Year website.

In second place was a 160-year-old hanging beech (Fagus sylvatica f. pendula) in Bayeux, France, followed by several thousand-year-old olive trees in Italy.

This is the third year in a row that Poland has won the award, and the fourth time in total, as it also won the award in 2017. Together with Hungary, Poland has won the most awards.

The European Tree of the Year is an annual competition, launched in 2011, to find Europe's most 'lovable' tree. The competition is organised by the Environmental Partnership Association (EPA), an organisation supported by the European Landowners Association and the European Commission.

15 countries currently take part in the competition, with several of them holding a national vote to select their candidate for each year. Nominations are made the year before the award ceremony. Voting for the European Tree of the Year starts on 1 February each year and runs until the end of the month. The votes cast for each tree are displayed live online until the last week of February, when the final votes are kept secret.

The winner is announced at an awards ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels at the end of March.