Voting has opened for the 2020 edition of the Victorian Tree of the Year contest.
The Victorian Tree of the Year contest aims to raise awareness for the conservation of Victoria’s natural heritage and the benefits of significant trees. In 2020, all nine shortlisted trees are located in regional areas of the state.
The 2020 shortlist includes several trees from bushfire-affected regions, including the spotted gums in Buchan South, that despite being burnt in the recent bushfires, are starting to show signs of regrowth. Other finalist trees include a Canary Island pine at the Ballarat Synagogue, the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour in Bacchus Marsh and a Himalayan oak at Bright Cemetery.
Simon Ambrose, CEO of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) said the Victorian Tree of the Year offered an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the myriad ways trees contributed to everyday life.
“During this time of uncertainty and self-isolation, the contest is a chance for people to stay connected to the environment and have some fun by celebrating our state’s significant trees,” he said.
The Victorian Tree of the Year contest was inaugurated in 2016, with a mountain ash known as the “Kalatha Giant” – a symbol of bushfire survival for the Toolangi & Castella community after the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 – named the first winner. The 2019 winner of the contest was a 300-year-old river red gum in Bulleen that was facing possible removal as part of the development of Melbourne’s North East Link Project that aims to connect the city’s major Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road and Metropolitan Ring Road urban corridors. The 2018 competition winner was a monterey pine, known as the “Lollipop Tree” at Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve.
The role of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is to advocate for the protection of trees and the benefits they provide to communities.
Voting for the 2020 contest closes Sunday 10 May 2020. For more information on how to cast a vote, visit the National Trust website here.