Tree of The Year Europe

The Tree of the year award winners for 2021 are in! Now in its 11th year, the awards which The Environmental Partnership Association organises aims to search for trees across the continent with the most interesting stories behind them. Since they began, the awards have brought together tree lovers from local communities. The competition has grown from 5 to 16 countries which now participate, and over 1,100 trees have participated in the competition to win this award. This year a winner was chosen from fourteen eager finalists. Let’s take a look at the top three winners and the stories that won them the well-deserved titles:

1st Place: The Millennial Carrasca of Lecina

Millenial Oak in Lecina Spain

This 1000-year-old Holm Oak resides in the region of Huesca, Aragon, Spain. Known locally as the tree of witches. It’s believed that when witches populated the Guara mountain area they would come and dance and celebrate around the famous Holm Oak. Today, one thousand years later, the tree still stands proud and is the centre point of celebrations and gathering within the tiny town of Alto Aragon, which only has thirteen inhabitants. It still stands tall thanks to the generations of care and love it has received from Lecina’s local community and, of course, the witches who danced around it! 

104,264 votes won this species its prestigious title.

2nd Place: The Thousand-Year Old Plane Tree of Curinga

An ancient tree

This plane tree is 1000 years old and can be found in a very unusual position overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea in Sant’elia, Calabria, Italy. This huge Plane tree stands tall and proud over a small stream like a guardian of the forest. They were believed to have been planted initially by Basilian monks who arrived in the region over a thousand years ago and built the hermitage of Sant’Elia. The tree's trunk is thought to be even older. The hollow trunk has an opening of more than three meters wide! Those who are lucky enough to enter it will feel like they are in a vast woody cave. Today this is the largest tree in the whole of Italy. This remarkable tree received its nomination from the Giant Trees Foundation Onlus and received 78,210 votes to gain second place. 

3rd Place: Ancient Sycamore Tree

Ancient mosque in Russia

A mere baby compared to the other tree’s at just 284 years old, this East Sycamore Tree can be found guarding the mosque in the region of Derbent, Republic of Dagestan, Russia. Legend says that the great commander of the East, Nadir-shah, looked after the sprouts of this unique sycamore tree beside the Juma Mosque in ancient Derbent. The writer Aleksandr-Marlinsky also composed his works while admiring this mighty tree. Today the ancient sycamore tree can be found at the centre of the house of worship. It is a symbol of power and an attraction for the local people of Dagestan and guests of the region. This beautiful tree was nominated by The Russian National Projet “Trees as National Heritage Monuments”. This historic tree won third place with 66,026 votes.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the three trees which came out on top in 2021. To find out more about the awards and the other deserving finalists, visit the tree of the year website.

Images: David de la FuenteRed OctopusElena Odareeva /



How can we help?