Wales Tree of the Year 2020

To vote for your favourite tree please visit our shortlist page


Photo Credit: Mark Zytynski

You are voting for:

The Beech of many faces, Gnoll Country Park, Neath

“This tree always makes me smile and I'm sure it smiles back.  I see many faces in it and I know others do too. I'm 67 now but I have loved this tree since the day I first saw it when I was a toddler. I have to see it often to check on it. The roots remain proud and appear to guard its body. My grandchildren are so fond of it and very protective of it.”

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Photo credit: Mark Zytynski

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The Chapter House Tree, Margam Park, Port Talbot

Standing in the shadows of 17th century Margam Orangery and St Mary’s Church, this historic fern-leaved beech envelopes the remains of one of the first Cistercian abbeys in Wales. Its canopy has provided shelter to visitors for many years- from Victorian tea parties taking place under its sweeping boughs to a favorite summer picnic spot for present day visitors. The tree provides an atmospheric back drop and is loved by cinematographers- featuring in TV and Film productions from Dr Who and ‘Songs of Praise’ with Sir Bryn Terfel to the recent Netflix blockbuster series ‘Sex Education’.

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Photo credit: Mark Zytynski

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The Chirk Castle Sweet Chestnut, Chirk Castle, Chirk

This ancient tree is absolutely majestic. The limbs are wide like those of an elephant, the bark gnarled and wrinkled with character and magic, most of all – it must hold centuries of wisdom. It has supposedly been around since the reign of Henry VIII. It’s born witness to the Civil War, Chirk being a location for sieges and battle. Its vast size is truly awesome when you meet it on the rugged path. It’s a beast of a tree in both its history and size!

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Photo credit: Mark Zytynski

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The Sychbant Oak, Near Maesteg, Bridgend

“Whilst exploring my local patch during lockdown, I stumbled across this rugged old oak. The trunk is hollow, yet it stands tall and strong, faring well in the face of adversity. I find the hole at the back transfixing, providing a portal directing your attention at the greenery on the far side. It entices you to get up close to gain a clearer view, leaving you expecting to witness some secret gathering of mythical creatures unfolding. This has become a favourite place of mine. An escape from the circumstances of life during troubled times. It's my haven in the forest, under the watchful gaze of my wise and crooked friend.”

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Photo credit: Mark Zytynski

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The Monmouth Catalpa Tree, St James Square, Monmouth

This Indian bean tree in a site of historic importance in Monmouth’s St James Square was planted in 1900 and at the time of the unveiling of the Monmouth war memorial in 1921, it was already a beautiful mature specimen. It was threatened in 2005 when the local authority wanted to fell it on safety ground because it was hollow. This prompted a fantastic campaign by local people. Specialist arborists were brought in who confirmed that minor tree work was all that was necessary. This was carried out in 2011 and the tree is now once again flourishing. It was in 2006 declared the oldest and largest of its species in the UK. It well befits the brave soldiers who gave up their lives for our freedom.

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Photo credit: Mark Zytynski

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The Overton Yew, In the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Overton-on-Dee

This yew tree is believed to be between 1500-2000 years old, and is the largest yew in a group of yew trees called 'The Overton Yews' mentioned in the folk song the “Seven Wonders of Wales”.  It is thought that a small Christian Oratory of wattle and daub stood on the site of the present church as far back as the 7th century, the current church stands next to this yew. As the song goes:

“Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple,
Snowdon's mountain without its people,
Overton yew trees, St Winefride's well,
Llangollen bridge and Gresford bells”

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