England's tree of the year announced

| 23rd October 2019
The tree in Calderstones Park received more than 34 percent of the 11,000 votes cast in the annual competition.

Trees are an important part of the urban landscape.

The winner of England's Tree of the Year contest has been announced as the "spectacular" Allerton Oak in Liverpool.

The tree in Calderstones Park received more than 34 percent of the 11,000 votes cast in the annual competition, run by the Woodland Trust.

Members of the public were asked to nominate trees with fascinating stories.

Unique

The Colchester Castle Sycamore, growing on the walls of the Essex stronghold, came second while the mythical Dragon Tree on the Isle of Wight was a "close third".

There are separate winners from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but judges confirmed the Allerton Oak will represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year contest which begins in February.

So far no British tree has scooped the top prize at European level, although Wales's Brimmon Oak has come close, earning second place in 2017.

Award-winning horticulturist and TV personality David Domoney, who has supported the competition throughout, said: "Working with the Woodland Trust on its Tree of the Year campaign is a real pleasure.

"The entrants this year have been outstanding and illustrate perfectly the unique nature of our native trees. I wish the tree the best of luck as it enters the European Tree of the Year competition. Please vote for the British tree."

Greener

The tree has a colourful history - it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and local legend tells of a medieval court, known as a Hundred Court, that met under its branches as local officials had no courthouse.

Liverpool City Council is working in partnership with the Mersey Forest to preserve the Allerton Oak. The council has already invested around £70,000 this year, but the value of the tree is "conservatively estimated" at more than £500,000.

Adam Cormack, Woodland Trust head of campaigning, said: "The Allerton Oak is a spectacular example of a city tree.

"Trees are an important part of the urban landscape helping to make our towns and cities better places to live. We are keen to increase understanding of their value and promote their protection.

"We are currently working with partners to help increase tree cover in the city and make Liverpool a greener place to live."

This Author

Mike Bedigan is a reporter with PA.

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