The plane tree Rossio de Portalegre came fourth in the “European Tree of the Year 2021” competition. In this competition with online voting, 37,410 votes were counted. First place went to an old holm oak from Spain, which received 104,264 votes. The announcement was made online this Wednesday afternoon.
It is the first time that a Spanish tree has been voted European Tree of the Year. It is called “Azinheira Milenar de Lecina” and is estimated to be a thousand years old. Located in the province of Huesca, it is associated with stories of witches. “Legend has it that there were times when witches populated Serra da Guará, where they danced and celebrated around the holm oak,” says the website of the competition. Today, it is added, it is the union of the few inhabitants of the place where it is located that maintains it.
The Spanish holm oak that won the Ayuntamiento de Lecina European tree competition in 2021
Still on the podium, a plantain from Italy, around a thousand years old in the Calabria region, with 78,210 votes. The third position was for a 284 year old Russian plane tree that is a “guardian” of a mosque. It had 66,026 votes.
The Italian plane tree, which came second to Antonio Bretti
Fourth, then, was the Rossio de Portalegre plane tree. This tree was planted by doctor and botanist José Maria Grande in 1838 – it is now 182 years old. At the height of the canopy and the perimeter of the trunk, this is considered to be the largest plane tree in the Iberian Peninsula known to date. The municipality of Portalegre was referring to the PUBLIC when the plane tree was announced as the Portuguese tree from 2021. It is 23 meters long, has a trunk circumference of seven meters and a canopy diameter of 37 meters. It is also a keeper of the city’s stories.
They went through the ranking of the European Tree of the Year competition and were also in descending order: a linden tree from Poland (with 35,422 votes); another linden tree from the Netherlands (34,244 votes); an apple tree from the Czech Republic (32,028); an Olaia from Hungary (31,867); a poplar from France (31,594); a bastard bastard from Croatia (31,283); a mountain ash from the United Kingdom (31,197); a chestnut from Belgium (30,886); an oak from Slovakia (30,058); and a mulberry from Bulgaria (30,055).
This year the online competition had a total of 604,544 votes. The competition is organized by the Environmental Partnership Association (EPA) in collaboration with the European Landowners Organization (ELO). In Portugal, the competition is the responsibility of the Union of Mediterranean Forests – UNAC.
In 2018, the Sobreiro Whistler from the village of Águas de Moura (Palmela municipality) took first place in the European competition. Then, in 2019, the Azinheira Secular do Monte do Barbeiro, located about seven kilometers from the village of Alcaria Ruiva in the municipality of Mértola, took third place. In 2020, the chestnut tree in Vales in Tresminas, in the municipality of Vila Pouca de Aguiar, took sixth place at European level.