Quarr Abbey oak - Shortlisted for Tree of The Year 2018

Quarr Abbey oak

We need your votes.

That’s the message from CLA member and Quarr Abbey head gardener Matt Noyce as it battles it out in the Woodland Trust’s annual Tree of the Year competition.

The contest, backed by TV gardener David Domoney, throws the spotlight on the nation‘s finest trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection.

Whittled down from hundreds of nominations, a shortlist of 10 trees are now up for the public vote.

By going online at woodlandtrust.org.uk people can choose their favourite and crown England’s Tree of the Year for 2018.

Among the 10 is the Quarr Abbey oak, at Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

Founded in 1132, Quarr Abbey housed a group of Cistercian monks until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536. The abbey fell to ruin, but through the remains of the infirmary grew an oak tree.

The oak has three trunks, which join together to form a natural archway, mimicking the old infirmary window next to it. The oak has even grown up and around the last remnants of a stone wall, surrounding the masonry and slowly occluding the stones as it grows.

A new abbey was built nearby at the beginning of the 20th century, and is still a working monastery of the Benedictine order.

Kaye Brennan, from the Woodland Trust said: “Stories have always grown on trees, and the trees on this year’s shortlist have some fascinating stories to tell.

“Easily overlooked and routinely undervalued, trees like these need their moment in the sun.”

The Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition runs in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each country will have its own champion. Just one of the four national winners will be selected to represent the UK in the 2018 European Tree of the Year contest, and there is a £1,000 tree care award for each winning tree.

Voting closes on 7 October.

Picture credit: Sienna Anderson, Woodland Trust