The 400-year-old downy oak in Bátaszék

European tree of the year - in Hungary

April 21, 2016

The oldest tree in Bátaszék (S Hungary), a downy oak, won the 2016 European Tree of the Year contest. It received 72,653 votes ahead of 14 entries from another 14 countries, according to the EC-supported Environmental Partnership Association (EPA).

A statement released in Brussels says that the oak of Bátaszék survived as a memory of a forest from the 18th century and the chapel built behind it. The tree and the chapel guard the town and its people who also found protection here during a flood in 1956.

According to local tradition, the trunk of the oak has to be sprinkled with wine in order to ensure next year’s rich grape harvest. Locals will celebrate the title on May 25, the Hungarian news agency MTI notes. The European Tree of the Year contest is held annually since 2002 to highlight the significance of old trees that need preservation.


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