Where are the 3 most beautiful trees in France?

Mourning Beech from the Bayeux Botanical Gardens in Normandy.
E. Case /Wild Land

The Tree of the Year 2023, a competition organized by the ONF, rewards the most beautiful specimens of France. Among the criteria taken into account are naturalistic, aesthetic and historical characteristics. Is there a winner in your area?

Oak, tamarisk, sycamore, beech, yew, elm, walnut, fig tree… French trees are in the spotlight thanks to this annual competition.

What is the Tree of the Year competition?

This is a competition that the magazine has been holding every year since 2011 Wild and the National Forestry Office (ONF). Trees from all regions of mainland France, but also from overseas, are presented by individuals and groups (families, associations, municipalities, schools, etc.). Photographs of the candidate tree are accompanied by text describing its history, its aesthetic and biological qualities, and a link linking it to the person or group presenting it (cultural, emotional, social, symbolic meaning, etc.).

This year, 3 prizes were awarded: Jury Prize, Public Prize and Coup de Coeur Prize.

Key Characters:

  • 140 candidates
  • Total 27,555 votes

The jury consists of the ONF magazine Wild, from the association ARBRES, from the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO). In September 2023, he selected 14 candidates who were publicly voted on from November 8 to December 18.

Who are the three winners of the competition?

  • Public Prize: The Weeping Beech of Bayeux
This Bayeux weeping beech won the People’s Tree of the Year Award 2023.
E. Case/Wild Land

This majestic beech tree, planted in the Botanical Gardens of Bayeux in Normandy, won the People’s Choice Award with 8,051 votes. It could be more than 200 years old and would have come from grafting between two varieties of beech.

  • Wingspan: more than 40 m
  • Height: 17m
  • Area: 1250m2

A network of 600m of cables and 1000m of rope attached to 4 10m high masts was installed to support its falling branches.

This mourning beech will represent France in the “European Tree of the Year” competition. Voting will start on the 1stahem February at treeoftheyear.org

  • Jury prize: linden ‘Combe Droit’ from Lapeyrous
Linden ‘Combe Droit’ from Lapeyrous, Jury Prize Tree of the Year 2023.
E. Case / Terre Sauvage

It’s better (Tilia platyphyllos) a tadpole with a hollow, short and massive trunk, located at the top of a plot of bocage meadow in Puy-de-Dôme.

  • Circumference in 1.4m: 7.4m
  • Height: 26m

This gigantic tree is home to many species of birds, such as the garden creeper, great woodpecker, wood buzzard, blue tit, robin, blackbird, but also squirrels…

  • The Green Tree’s favorite prize: a thousand-year-old olive tree
Olivier de Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, popular prize.
E. Juppeaux / Terre Sauvage

A thousand year old olive tree Olea europaea, received the Coup de Coeur award from the competition partner. It consists of many large shoots, growing in the foundations of an old wall, in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur). Its intertwined roots spread over a large area. This tree is believed to be the oldest tree in France.

  • Circumference: 23.5 m
  • Height: 15m
  • Estimated age: more than 2000 years

The 2024 competition is coming! From 1ahem March you can submit your tree request at www.arbredelannee.com.


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