Organized annually at European level since 2011, the European Tree of the Year is a contest that highlights the significance of trees in the natural and cultural heritage of Europe, and the importance of the ecosystem services that trees provide. The contest is not looking for the most beautiful tree, but for a tree with a story; a tree rooted in the lives and work of the people and the community that surround it.
During the month of February, everyone can choose their favourite trees by voting online at www.treeoftheyear.org. Every year, winners are celebrated in Brussels, in a cultural and festive evening bringing together tree lovers, decision-makers, environmentalists, landowners, and national organisers. Daniel CALLEJA-CRESPO, Director General for Environment at the European Commission addressed participants and said, “The European Tree of the Year initiative has an important role to play in showcasing Europe's wonderful diversity and fostering shared values among European citizens. Every year, thousands of Europeans take part, demonstrating their common connection to the natural environment."
The winner of the European Tree of the Year 2019 contest, organised under the patronage of Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, was unveiled in Brussels on March 19. The Award Ceremony in the European Parliament was held under the auspices of MEP Pavel POC, vice-chair of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety at the European Parliament. The evening was moderated by Natalie Pauwels and Ladislav Miko from the European Commission and gained wide public interest as well as the attendance of Brussels environmental stakeholders.
The Award Ceremony crowned the Almond tree of the Snowy Hill in Pécs, a Hungarian symbol of eternal renewal, as the winner. The awards ceremony was organised by the Environmental Partnership Association and the European Landowners’ Organisation who are engaged in promoting a healthy environment in our cities and countryside, with support from the South Moravian Region, Mendel University in Brno and the S&D group from European Parliament.
Winner 2019 : The Almond Tree of the Snowy Hills in Pécs, Hungary :
Winner 2017 : Polish Oak Jozef : Oak Józef gave shelter to two Jewish brothers during World War II, who used its hollow trunk as a hideout.