Belfast Telegraph

Special branches... six of Northern Ireland's best vie for title of Woodland Trust’s top tree

Invisible Tree
Invisible Tree
King Tree
Nobbly Tree
Crom Yew
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

The Invisible Tree is among six from across Northern Ireland shortlisted for the Woodland Trust's Tree of the Year.

The final six include The Nobbly Tree in Londonderry's Brooke Park; The Big Oak in the grounds of Hillsborough Castle, and a horse chestnut known as The King Tree in Armagh.

Also on the list is the Oriental Hornbeam in the Botanical Gardens, Belfast, and a pair of Crom Yews on the Crom Estate, along the shores of Lough Erne.

The Invisible Tree is actually a sessile oak in Rostrevor, but it was given the name after there was no mention of it in a survey for a planning application. Members of the public are being asked to vote for their favourite and the tree with the most votes will get a £1,000 health check from a specialist, educational materials or a community event in celebration of the tree.

Ian McCurley, director of the Woodland Trust in Northern Ireland, said: "Each of the six shortlisted trees is unique, with a story to tell. I have no doubt this will be a close-run competition, and that's why it's so important that each and every one of us takes the time to vote."

The winning tree will go up against those selected in England, Scotland and Wales to represent the UK in the European competition.

Contenders include Liverpool's Allerton Oak, which may have been growing since the time of the Norman Conquest; the Isle of Wight's Dragon Tree, which a myth claims was once a dragon slain by a knight, and Fallen Tree in London's Richmond Park, which has continued to grow after falling over in a storm.

Cast your vote at woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear. Everyone who votes will be entered into a prize draw to win £100 in Sainsbury's vouchers.

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