An oak that survived a wartime bomb, the tree that shaded Queen Elizabeth I on summer picnics and one of the UK’s most famous elms are all in the running to be crowned Tree of the Year in the latest round of the competition organised by the Woodland Trust.

This year’s contest shines a spotlight on ancient trees in urban locations, with every shortlisted specimen able to be visited free of charge by the public.

“Ancient trees in towns and cities are vital for the health of nature, people and planet,” said Naomi Tilley, lead campaigner at the Woodland Trust.

“They give thousands of urban wildlife species essential life support, boost the UK’s biodiversity and
bring countless health and wellbeing benefits to communities.

“But most ancient trees aren’t protected by law, and those in urban areas are particularly vulnerable, like one of this year’s nominees – which narrowly escaped being cut down by Sheffield City Council in 2017.”

The Woodland Trust’s panel of tree experts has shortlisted 12 fascinating urban contenders from across the UK for Tree of the Year 2023 – with one additional tree voted for by the public.

“Trees like those in the shortlist are remarkable and deserve celebration – and protection,” Tilley added. “YouGov polling shows 83% of people in Great Britain support giving ancient trees legally protected heritage status.

“What’s more, 85% of people think national government and its agencies should have responsibility for protecting them. The stats show just how much these trees mean to people.”

This year's contenders are located in city parks, busy town centres and residential streets.

Each one has an amazing story to tell and is loved by locals, as well as providing vital habitats for wildlife, helping to reduce flooding, screening out noise, providing shade, filtering air pollution, increasing property values and bringing cultural capital to our streets and parks.

Teenager Chiara George, one of the winners of the Woodland Trust's recent Youth Innovation competition, has a passion for urban and ancient trees.

She said: “Focusing on urban trees in Tree of The Year is super exciting because they are often overlooked despite their importance in maintaining biodiversity, absorbing noise and air pollution on busy roads, and so much more.
“It’s really simple to vote for your favourite and help us crown a champion, so please get involved.”

The winner will represent the UK in the European Tree of the Year competition.

Voting for the Woodland Trust’s 2023 Tree of the Year is open now until Sunday, 15 October. Vote for the Tree of the Year

We'll announce this year's winner on Thursday 19 October.

Trees woods and wildlife

Tree of the Year 2023

You voted in your thousands to help us crown this year's Tree of the Year and now we have our winner!

Read more


For more information please contact the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 602993, Owen Phillips on 07958 066 766, or email, or

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,012 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14-15 May 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

See the full survey results:

YouGov survey results for Great Britain

YouGov survey results for Northern Ireland

The Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK with more than 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a world where woods and trees thrive for people and nature.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care, covering more than 30,000 hectares. Access to its woods is free so everyone can benefit from woods and trees.

Science shows that woods and trees combat the devastating effects of climate change: flooding, pollution, and extreme weather and temperature. They are also the ultimate carbon captors, absorbing atmospheric carbon and locking it up for generations. The message is clear: trees are one of the best ways to tackle the climate and nature crisis. 

The Trust has three key aims:

  • protect ancient woodland, which is rare, unique and irreplaceable
  • restore damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life
  • establish native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Read more information on urban trees.

Social Media links

Follow the Woodland Trust to keep up to date with the Tree of the Year competition.
Facebook: @thewoodlandtrust
Twitter: @WoodlandTrust
Instagram: @woodlandtrust