ETY2020 final

New challenges for trees and people
It’s true that trees are unable to race (on account of having roots instead of legs), but that did not stop a pine from the Czech Republic from leaving its opponents in the dust during the European Tree of the Year Competition in 2020. The pine, dubbed the Guardian of the Flooded Village for its position on the headland of a dam above the once populated village of Chudobín, took first place in this year’s contest with 47,226 votes.

 Not far behind the Czech tree were Ginkgo from Daruvar in Croatia, with 28,060 votes, and the Lonely Poplar from the Russian Federation, with 27,411. This year, these trees, together with contenders from the Netherlands, Romania, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Spain, Slovakia, France, Poland, Ireland, Bulgaria, Belgium, and Italy, amassed a total of 285,174 votes.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in early 2020 posed a new challenge for the national organizers; the announcement of the results of the annual European Tree of the Year Competition, which is typically held at the European Parliament in Brussels, was forced to take on a digital format this year.

“We wondered how to convey the joy of the results to sixteen European communities,” said Josef Jary of the Environmental Partnership Association, the organization that holds the contest. “Finally, we combined the tree stories and personal testimonies of the first three finalists into a video that can now be watched and shared among tree fans across borders.”

The online video and final results can be viewed at

This year’s Tree of the Year contest was organized by the Environmental Partnership Association and the European Landowners’ Organisation under the auspices of MEPs Ludek Niedermayer and Michal Wiezik.

Standing Name Country Votes
1 Guardian of the Flooded Village Czechia 47 226
2 Ginkgo from Daruvar Croatia 28 060    
3 Lonely Poplar Russia 27 411    
4 The Witch Tree Netherlands 18 452    
5 Multisecular Fir Tree - Guardian of Cibin Romania 18 279    
6 The Chestnut Tree from Vales Portugal 17 048    
7 The Allerton Oak United Kingdom 16 449    
8 The Freedom Tree in Kaposvár Hungary 16 093
9 The Three-Legged Spanish Oak Spain 14 456    
10 Precious Sorb Tree Slovakia 13 582    
11 The Multisecular Beech of Saint-Jammes France 12 192    
12 Elderberry Tree Poland 11 691    
13 Witch’s Yew Tree Ireland 11 372    
14 The Venerable Oak in Novo Selo Village Bulgaria 11 191    
15 The Tree of Freedom Belgium 10 942    
16 Oak Vallonea of Tricase Italy 10 730    
Total 285 174    

Media Contacts:
Josef Jary, Communication officer — (+32) 493 84 35 01
Andrea Krupova, Contest coordinator: — (+420) 515 903 13
The Environmental Partnership Association (EPA) is a leading environmental organization established for almost 30 years in Central and Eastern Europe. With a team of 80 employees, the EPA operates in 6 countries via its 6-member foundations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The EPA boasts 30-years of experience in project coordination and carrying out activities oriented to changing people’s mind-sets in order to protect and improve the environment.
The European Landowners' Organization (ELO), created in 1972, is a unique federation of national associations from the 28 EU Member States and beyond, which represents the interests of landowners, land managers and rural entrepreneurs at the European political level. Independent and non-profit making, the ELO is the only organization able to stand for all rural entrepreneurs. The ELO promotes a prosperous countryside through private property dynamism. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels
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 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 surrounds it.