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European Tree of the Year 2019

Will the most romantic tree in England become European Tree of the Year?

Vic and Nellie Stead - Nellie's Tree
Vic and Nellie Stead in their later years (Photo provided by Chris Lund – Vic and Nellie’s grandson)

Nearly 100 years ago, Vic Stead would walk from his home in Garforth, near Leeds, to the nearby village of Aberford. He followed the old colliery railway through the woods to go and visit Nellie, a dairy maid living in Aberford who he was courting at the time.

One day, he came across three beech saplings on his route, and grafted one sapling between the other two to form the letter N, for Nellie. His plan to woo his sweetheart clearly worked, as Vic and Nellie went on to marry, have a family and grow old together. Although they are both gone now, Nellie’s Tree, also known as the 'Love Tree' by locals, still remains.

After winning both the English and UK competitions, this special tree ran in the European Tree of the Year 2019 competition, in which it finished ninth. The winner was the Almond Tree of Pécs, in Hungary.

Keep an eye out for special trees – nominations for the 2019 UK competition open in May.

The UK Tree of the Year competition is run in support of the Charter for Trees, Woods and People – an initiative that sets out 10 tree principles to embed in our society for a future where people and trees are stronger together. Find out more and voice your support at 

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