Spanish nature is in luck, because it has put a tree among the best in all of Europe. It is an Aragonese holm oak, a millenary holm oak from Lecina, in the province of Huesca, which is responsible for participating in the last vote within the European Tree of the Year along with thirteen other plant giants from the continent.
The holm oak It is 16 meters high and has a trunk of seven meters in perimeter. In order to make a comparison, it would take about four people holding hands to hug her. It is an ancient specimen and a cultural reference and an attraction in the area.
The contest is organized by the Environmental Partnership Association, and since its Web page you can vote between the Spanish oak and the thirteen remaining trees. The term opened on February 1 and will remain open until February 28. At the moment, you can see the results, but in the last week the vote will be secret so as not to see how the classification is going.
The history of the Spanish candidate
According to contest website, which at the moment places the Aragonese holm oak at the top of the table with more than 25,000 votes, it is a 1,000-year-old holm oak known as “the witch’s tree.”
“Legend has it that in times in which the witches populated the Sierra de Guara, danced and celebrated around the holm oak. A thousand years later, it remains the union with the people the cause of the holm oak to continue standing in this small town of Alto Aragón of 13 inhabitants ”, the story begins.
“The neighbors chose it and continue to choose the holm oak for their celebrations, very close to the houses, it is surprising because being such an old tree, it is so alive; the secret will surely be the care and company of the neighbors of Lecina and those witches “, concludes.
In 2015 it was declared a singular tree of Aragon. It is a true icon of rural tourism in the busy Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park, where It is popularly known as ‘La Castañera’, due to its large size and good taste of its acorns.
The oak appears on the shield of Aragon, and also has a special symbolism in the middle of a pandemic. On June 27, 2020, 731 holm oaks were planted, one in each Aragonese municipality, in homage to the victims and in gratitude to health workers, nursing homes and essential services.
The rest of European rivals
The main competitor, with more than 23,000 votes, is the 1,000-year-old Italian ‘Banana de Curinga’. It is the largest banana in Italy, it is believed that it was planted by Basilian monks who came to Calabria more than a thousand years ago.
With less than 20,000 and more than 10,000 votes are a 160 year old Belgian chestnut (‘The survivor of the four trunks’), a Bulgarian mulberry tree about 450 years old (‘The old mulberry tree’), a 70-year-old apple tree from the Czech Republic (‘Apple tree near Lidmans’), a 200-300 year old French black poplar (‘The Pouplie’), a 115 year old Croatian hackberry (‘The oldest resident of Medulin’), a 345 year old Hungarian love tree (‘The Judas tree’), a dutch linden (‘The ancient mother tree’), a Polish lime tree between 150 and 170 years old (‘Tilo de San Juan Nepomuceno’), a 182 year old Portuguese banana (‘Rossio’s banana’), a 184 year old Russian banana (‘Ancient sycamore tree’), a 700 year old Slovak oak (‘Ancient oak of Drnava’), Y a British hunting rowan between 70 and 100 years old (‘The surviving tree’).