There are three billion trees in the UK, and while they are all special, some a bit more special than others.


That’s the premise of the Tree of the Year 2017, organised by the Woodland Trust, which is asking Britain’s nature lovers (that’s you) to vote for their favourites.

This year’s shortlist of 28 remarkable trees includes some ancient, some beautiful, and some remarkable survivors.

Four winning trees – one from each UK nation – will go forward to the next stage of the competition, the 2018 European Tree of the Year contest.

Even 2m above the ground, the Giant Redwood of Llangattock in Powys has a trunk more than 9m in girth

Welsh nominees include this Giant Redwood of Llangattock in Powys,

The hollow trunk of the Meavy Royal Oak in Yelverton, Devon, was once used as a peat store

Trees on the shortlist for England include the 1,000-year old Meavy Royal Oak on Dartmoor (above), once a living church where locals would gather before the preacher;

Might the Witch's Broom Tree of Dorking have started life as a bundle of saplings planted close together?

The Witch’s Broom Tree, in Surrey, with its thicket of twisted branches and skull-shaped branch;

Overlooking Coniston in Cumbria, The Courageous Tree shows signs of scorching in its hollow centre

The Courageous Tree, in Lakeland, an ash which has survived for half a century despite being split in two – probably by a lightning strike;

By 1833 the Crowhurst Yew, in East Sussex, was thought to be in terminal decline, but recovered

and the Crowhurst Yew, near Hastings , which is believed to have been growing here in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold nearby.

The Weeping Ash of Bangor, in Northern Ireland, was planted in 1840

While Northern Ireland trees up for the prize include this weeping ash, planted at the First Presbyterian Church of Bangor, County Down. It’s only there now because in 1920 the parishioners rebelled against a plan to cut it down.


If you want to vote, visit by 8 October.


Joe PontinFeatures Editor