Beech at Greupkerk winner of the title ‘Tree of the year’ in South Holland

The monumental red beech trees in front of the Greupkerk, near Oud-Beijerland, can call themselves ‘Tree of the Year’ for a year in the province of South Holland. (Photo: Arie Pieters/Fraxinus Excelsior ©)

The monumental red beech trees in front of the church in the hamlet of Greup near Oud-Beijerland may bear the title ‘Tree of the Year’ of the province of South Holland this year. In doing so, they are following in the footsteps of the equally monumental lime tree in Mookhoek. It is the second time that Hoeksche Waardse trees have won that title.

In principle, the ‘Tree of the Year’ election is about one tree, but the duo for the Greupkerk is of course inextricably linked, so the Tree Working Group Fraxinus Excelsior decided to register them together. This election is certainly not only about where the largest or oldest tree is located. The story or stories behind a tree are just as important. And in that regard, the duo had a strong trump card. Thirteen years ago, when the beech that is now closest to the roundabout was threatened with felling, literally hundreds of people from all over the Hoeksche Waard took action. Tree lovers and tree experts, but also churchgoers, historical organizations and of course many local residents. “That was the deciding factor in this election. Apart from the fact that they are of course very beautiful beech trees,’ says Arie Pieters of the tree work group.

National election: the public can vote

The jury has nominated twelve trees (one for each province) from 82 registered trees with their accompanying stories. The election of The Tree of the Year is part of the European equivalent Tree of the Year. SBNL Natuurfonds in Leersum is responsible for the Dutch entry for this election for the fifth time this year. Provincial elections are therefore always selected by a jury. At the national election, in which one can vote for the twelve provincial winners, the public will determine the ultimate winner. You can vote since September 5. (Until October 17th) The Dutch ‘Tree of the Year’ will then participate in the European election at the beginning of 2023. On the voting page of the ‘Tree of the Year’ website, the beeches are listed as number 12. ‘Fraxinus Excelsior’ obviously hopes for a lot of Hoeksche Waard voices, but also for those of tree and nature lovers from the rest of the province of South Holland. Website: https://www.deboomvanhetjaar.nl/stem-op-uw-boom

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