The Walloon Foundation for the Conservation of Habitats (Fondation Wallonne pour la Conservation des Habitats) and the Baillet Latour Fund, in partnership with European Landowners Organization, the Royal Forest Society of Belgium and the Walloon Rural Foundation, have organized an annual and free competition for the Belgian tree of the year. The purpose of this contest is to highlight old trees as an important part of our natural and cultural heritage, worthy of our attention.
Until the end of October, citizens are welcome to vote for the most remarkable Belgian tree of the year, 2019.
The winner will receive a prize of 2,500 € for the development of the tree, for example in the form of a treatment by a professional arborist, the development of the surroundings of the tree, the promotion of the tree with of the population, the publication of a brochure or leaflet extolling the heritage of the tree.
A specific tree has been selected for each Walloon province and for the Brussels Region. The competition comprises of six trees:
- the lime of the Hattain marsh at Baisy-thy (Walloon Brabant),
- the studded oak of Herchies at Jurbise (province of Hainaut),
- the lime with the nail of the Fief at Olne (province of Liège),
- the purple beech of the Châtelet communal park in Habay-la-Neuve (Luxembourg province),
- the tree of freedom in Eghezée (Namur province) and the maple tree plane tree at Brugmann University Hospital.
“They are not necessarily the biggest, the oldest or the most beautiful, but rather those who have a story to share. The interest of the tree for its environment, for society, and its history are important elements to remember. A professional jury will evaluate the applications and proceed to the selection of a tree by province and for the Brussels Region. It will then be up to you to assert your choice by participating in the vote.”
Last year, Onze Lieve Vrouwebeuk from Lummen (province of Limburg) won the title.
An award ceremony will be organized in collaboration with the laureate of the Belgian competition.
The competition of Flemish trees is expected to take place soon in 2020.