Tree-mendous - 'Survivor' rowan named tree of the year

A once-lone tree in Dumfries and Galloway has been named Scotland’s Tree of the Year.

'The Survivor' rowan at Carrifran, near Moffat, beat four other trees across the country in the annual competition.

The winner has become an emblem for Borders Forest Trust, which took ownership of the land 20 years ago and planted hundreds of thousands of trees.

It will receive a trophy and a care package worth £1000, which can be spent on works to benefit its health, interpretation signage or community celebration.

Carol Evans, director of Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “We are facing a climate emergency and a biodiversity crisis. One of the most obvious responses is to get more trees in our landscape.

“Trees soak up carbon from the atmosphere and provide a home for wildlife. So it is fantastic that Borders Forest Trust has shown what can be achieved at Carrifran Wildwood. This tree itself is quite ordinary but it represents something extraordinary.”

The rowan, near Moffat, has been crowned 2020's Tree of the Year. Credit: Aiden Maccormick

Fi Martynoga, who nominated the rowan in the competition, said: “This tree rapidly became a very important symbol of our aspirations to see this valley completely re-wooded and restored to its natural vegetation.

“In this valley alone we have planted well over 600,000 trees. The beauty of it is they are now beginning to reproduce themselves.

“It shows how you can change an environment for the better, preserve and multiply what is around. I hope it can stand as a symbol for other people, that they can do the same thing.”

Fifty trees have been nominated by the public every year since 2014.These were whittled down by a panel of judges, with five finalists going to an online public vote.

The Survivor won with 1293 votes. The Climate Change Tree in Alloa had 1027 votes, the Milarrochy Oak at Loch Lomond had 720 votes, Queen Mary’s Thorn in Fife had 319 votes and the Lord President’s Oak near Inverness had 317.