This year, 16 competitors were selected to win the national competitions, presented from across Europe. Among them is also a candidate from Poland – the oak “Dunin”, which is called the Guardian of the Białowiea Forest.

In 2011, a competition was launched in the Czech Republic, which developed across the continent as the “European Tree of the Year”. The winners of the national stages participate in the continental final. This year, among 16 other contenders, there is also a candidate from Poland – oak “Dinin”, which is called Guardian of the Biaowiea Forest.

Competitions of this type have been going on for 12 years. All over Europe, there are searches for trees with the most interesting stories. Voting continues until February 28, 2022. Each voter chooses two of his or her candidates from among all 16 candidates. He sees his and previous voting results instantly. However, last week (Feb 22-28), the vote was secret. This means that you will not be able to find the current number of votes on the site.

The aim of this year’s European Tree Contest, its authors claim, is to draw attention to ancient trees of interest as an important natural and cultural heritage that we must value and protect. In this year’s European Tree Contest, unlike other competitions, the deciding factor is not beauty, size or age, but history and the relationships between trees and humans. We are looking for trees that have become an integral part of society. Trees are essential to our lives and are an important link between the past, present and future. It cools the summer heat, helps to take a deep breath and stabilizes the climate. Therefore, we must protect them and take care of them.

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The winner will be announced on March 22nd during a festive party. You can vote online. Subscription is free. The organizer of this year’s European Tree Contest is the Environmental Partnership Association (EPA), and the course in Poland is coordinated by environmental experts from Club Gaga.

The hanging oak tree “Denin”, which won the 2021 National Tree Contest, with nearly 7,500 votes, grew in the village of Przybodki in the Nario municipality of Podlasie. Polish competitors have already stood on the podium in the European competition three times. In 2017, Oak Józef z Wiśniowa won the European Tree of the Year title in the Podkarpacie region. Four years ago, the plane tree from Kosi near Bielsko-Biała took second place, and in 2014, the Wipiky oak of Bodomin in Pomerania took third place. The winner will also be chosen by netizens this time. Legend has it that the ‘Denin’ was left where it grew, to show where the Białowiea Forest had reached.

– This 400-year-old natural monument is one of the most famous giants of the forest – a symbol of strength and power – explains Jacek Bożek, President of Klub Gaja. – She has been delighted with her beauty for years and she is an inspiration to many artists and social activists. Tourists from Poland and abroad come here to see her and take a photo with her. The vote for Dunin – the ranger of the Białowiea Forest – at this point in history is not only symbolic. This unusual forest, protected for hundreds of years, will be torn apart by politics and irreversibly destroyed before our eyes. Let’s vote and, where possible, talk about the need to save the forest from entanglements and walls. He adds that thinking about what we lose does not come too late.

Poland’s “Denin” has 15 anti-candidates for the title of European Tree of 2022. Among them are trees that are favorites of local communities from all over Europe. They have won national competitions. They all share great stories and the fact that they are an important part of local life and a pride for the locals.

  • Mammoths from Croatia It is one of the oldest in Europe.
  • Mammoth from Belgium It was even described in a comic book.
  • Singing linden from the Czech Republic He supposedly hides the forbidden psalms, hidden here in the seventeenth century;
  • Majestic Royal Pine of EstoniaIt appeared around the time when the Swedish King Gustav Adolf II founded the University of Tartu;
  • Lipa Tilia from Holland She is the first Tree to have an Instagram account, where over 3000 followers watch her journey through the seasons;
  • Japanese sofas crying at Csokonai Theater in Debrecen They are a local curiosity in Hungary;
  • Great oaks from Latvia Everyone reminds that this country has the second largest density of large trees in Europe;
  • Italian “hundred horse chestnut” As the legend says, Queen Joan of Aragon hid herself from the storm;
  • Turgenev Ok from Russia Associated with the person of the great writer Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev;
  • Slovak oak weeping “canopy of the High Tatras”It is the symbol of Stary Smokovec, who is taken care of by the lifeguards of the Mountain Rescue Service;
  • Spanish Liberty Tree (oak from the Banquet Forest) We witnessed the Democrats’ Conxo Banquet in 1856 – a revolutionary act that affirmed the ideals of the new Europe: liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • Kipford’s tilted hawthorn – a secluded tree guarding a windswept beach on the Scottish coast, representing the United Kingdom of Great Britain;
  • Bulgarian Kolyo oak bears the name of the owner of the field in which it grows;
  • 300 year old French chestnut Edible for years it was a solitary tree growing in the middle of a meadow, and today it is a very popular city tree;
  • Portuguese “Great Cork Oak” He surprises everyone with the diameter of his crown.
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But will our country “Denin” repeat its national success since last year only in the European dimension? At the moment, he tops the rankings (with more than 133,600 votes). But more than three other types of oak were in its wake: “Oak from the Banquet Forest” (over 121,500 votes), Portuguese “Great Cork Oak” (over 49,100 votes) and “Turgenev’s Oak” (about 41,800 votes) . So it all depends on our votes!

You will vote for the Polish candidate here

You can see all the trees participating in the survey here