Spanish Holm Oak wins European Tree of the Year title

by Deborah Cater
European Tree of the Year
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“La Carrasca de Lecina” emerged as the winner in the vote for European Tree of the Year. That could totally change the lives of the 30 inhabitants of Lecina, a hamlet in the province of Huesca.

Lecina, part of the municipality of Bárcabo, with its now famous holm oak can probably count itself as one of the tourist nature destinations in Spain. Moreover, Lecina is located exactly between two of the most beautiful villages – Alquézar and Aínsa (Aragón).

Convincing winner

La Carrasca (the holm oak) from Lecina, Spain, won this year with no less than 104,264 votes. That is the highest number of votes ever given in the election as European Tree of the Year. In total, trees from fourteen different countries took part, including the age-old Moeier tree from Etten-Leur. This beautiful tree finished in sixth place this year. The Curinga plane tree in Sant’Elia, Italy, finished in second place after La Carrasca.

Trees with a story

The tree competition initiative comes from the Environmental Partnership Association EPA for sustainable development and environmental protection. With the competition, the EPA wants to highlight old trees with a story as valuable natural and cultural heritage.

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Great joy

La Carrasca is the first Spanish tree to win the title of European Tree of the Year. The joy in the village of Lecina was therefore great when Brussels virtually announced the winner. For the inhabitants, this crowning achievement for their more than a thousand year old tree was a historic event. The generous profit could put this almost forgotten village on the map for good.

MEP Isabel García, responsible for the nomination of La Carrasca in the tree competition, was present in Lecina at the announcement of the winner. “This exceeds all expectations,” said a delighted García. She also indicated that she was proud that it was precisely the region of Aragón that succeeded in putting this valuable competition in the spotlight.

Symbolic value

For her, La Carrasca in Lecina is now a symbol of all the small villages in Spain that are fighting for their survival. The profit could also mean that the countryside of Spain will play an important role in a completely new form of tourism in the coming years.

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