Ancient oak in tiny town becomes European Tree of the Year

Ancient oak in tiny town becomes European Tree of the Year

CREDIT: Diputacion de Huesca

AN ancient holm oak in the small town of Lecina, in Huesca, has been declared European Tree of the Year.

The tree, which is more than 1,000 years old, had already received an award at a national level, before competing with another 13 trees from throughout the continent.

It won hands down in a vote held online, the results of which were announced on Wednesday, March 17.

The holm oak in Lecina, a tiny town with only a handful of residents, received 104,264 votes, almost 30,000 more than the runner-up, a Banana tree in Curinga, Italy. It has seen monarchs come and go, having germinated around the same time Aragon became a kingdom, and has become a treasure to locals and a tourist attraction. The care of local residents for the tree has been key in its preservation and for its superb condition.

Over the centuries it has given shade and shelters to many, and is now around 16.5 metres tall and its branches spread over an area of 615m2.

The Society for the Promotion of Tourism in Huesca, part of the Provincial Government, has carried out a lot of work promoting the tree, to achieve what the President of Aragon, Javier Lamban, called “the triumph of our natural wealth”.

It is the first Spanish tree to have won the contest.

The third place this year went to a sycamore in Russia, with 66,026 votes.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.