Ireland’s Tree of the Year

Help us pick Ireland’s entrant for European Tree of the Year 2020

Voting opens Friday, July 12th, 2019 on

What are we looking for?

We are looking for the tree with the best story. It doesn’t have to be the biggest, or the oldest, but it needs to be a tree that means something to the community, and has a great story to tell.

Our Nominees

We have 5 wonderful nominees, each with its own history and story to tell. All of these trees are publicly accessible and open to all. We hope you enjoy reading about them, and thank you for your participation in this stage of the contest!

The Witch’s Yew

Rock Close, Blarney Castle Gardens, Cork

This Yew Tree,, situated in the Rock Close on the grounds of Blarney Castle Estate, has been estimated by experts to be in excess of 600 years old. A folly, The Witch’s Kitchen, was built by the Jeffreyes family under the already existing yew tree in the 1750s as part of the famous Rock Close gardens.

Legend has it, the area is the home of the Blarney Witch, who first told mortals of the Blarney Stone’s magic powers i.e. the gift of eloquence. The Witch, imprisoned by day in the Witch Stone, is released after nightfall, only to be banished to the witch stone again at dawn. Some early morning visitors have claimed to have seen dying embers of a fire in her kitchen

The Farmleigh Sycamore

Farmleigh Estate, Phoenix Park, Dublin

A Sycamore tree on the old Guinness family estate, now Farmleigh Estate, in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.  Sycamores are often described as ‘weeds’…if only we would let these weeds grow more often!

It is said that the nuns from the neighbouring convent, on their way along what was known as the ‘Convent Walk’, would pass this tree daily and stop to contemplate. They would either be heading for a 6am dip in the outdoor swimming pool at the back of Farmleigh house (no longer there) or continue their walk down the main avenue to the house in prayer.

The Castletown Sweet Chestnut

Castletown House, Co. Kildare

Possibly an ancient but definitely an old veteran Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut on the grounds of Castletown House, Co. Kildare.

It is said that the head of a deer can be seen in this tree….but only by certain people…or maybe only at a certain angle?

The Mighty Battle Oak

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Drogheda,Co. Meath,

Situated on the banks of the River Boyne, just five kilometres west of the town of Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland, lies the Oldbridge Estate, the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne.  This famous battle was one of defining moments in Ireland’s history.  On the 1st of July 1690 (old Julian calendar), the opposing armies of King William III and King James II took to the battlefield to engage in the largest battle ever to take place on Irish soil.  The Battle Oak, now, over 500 years old stood majestically amongst the opposing armies and silently witnessed the soldiers engage in combat on that fateful day.

The image of the mighty Battle Oak was captured by the famous Dutch Artist, Theodore Maas, who was present on the day of the Battle and the tree is plain to be seen in his drawings. There were thirteen different nationalities present at the Battle of the Boyne and as a result the Mighty Battle Oak has huge International as well as National importance. We, at the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, would like to share our story of the Battle Oak, as it is part of our history and very dear to us.  If only trees could talk……

Arbour Hill Sycamore

Arbour Hill, Dublin

A possible remnant of the old ‘Playground’ in Arbour Hill, Dublin, indicated on old maps circa. 1900.

It would have been witness to the burial of the leaders of the 1916 Rising and the creation of the State.

Magnificent and very large open grown tree in the heart of old Dublin.

(A Fatsia japonica or Castor Oil plant has been in residence for many years)


Voting will be open from Friday, July 12 2019 to Friday, August 16 2019 on