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Vote for your favourite tree

Banyan, kapok and sweet chestnut lead the way in Tree of the Year contest

A BANYAN tree, a kapok tree and a sweet chestnut are leading the race to win this year’s Tree of the Year competition.

The contest, run each year by the Office National des Forêts and nature magazine Terre Sauvage, lets people vote for trees in their region and then nationally with the winner going on to represent France in the European vote.

Last year a sweet chestnut tree in Pianellu, Corsica, was named France’s “outstanding” tree in the event.

The châtaignier was thought to be up to 1,000 years old and locals called it the “bread tree” because nuts had been made into flour to feed both people and their animals.

Dozens of trees are nominated for the event this year and regional finals have reduced that to 25 national finalists. This year they include a pair of twin beech trees in Alsace, a box tree in Rhône-Alpes and a tulip tree in Limousin.

Voting for the trees is open on the website and votes can be cast up to September 1 when a judging committee will pick their outstanding tree and the public winner will also be revealed. Photos of the regional winners will then be put on public display.

Last year the public winner was a 520-year-old oak tree planted in the Antenne valley near Cognac in Poitou-Charentes in 1494, to mark the birth of François 1er.

This year the European winner was an oak tree in the middle of a football field in Estonia, which took nearly 60,000 votes.

Next month’s August issue of Connexion has a feature on a pair of yew trees in a Normandy village that are thought to be 1,500 years old – with one containing a chapel in its hollow trunk.

To ensure your copy you can subscribe before July 10 at with a year’s subscription to a French address costing €35 (£32 if you want to pay with a sterling cheque) or contact our subscription department on +33 (0) 6 40 61 71 97 or 0844 256 9881 (from the UK, 4p per minute).
Photo: ONF-Terre Sauvage

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