The Earl and Duchess of Rosse and Tom Roche of Just Forests are delighted that a Grey Poplar on Birr Castle Demesne is in the running for European Tree of the Year 2014.

Second Offaly tree vying for European Tree of Year title

Ireland is in with another chance of winning European Tree of the Year, after Charleville estate’s King Oak missed out last year.

A Grey Poplar tree that stands in Birr Castle Demesne and was nominated for the competition by Tom Roche of Just Forests is to fly the flag for the country in this year’s competition.

With almost 6,000 votes, Tullamore’s King Oak came third in last year’s European Tree of the Year competition. Mr Roche is asking readers to get on board and vote for the Birr tree in this year’s competition once voting opens next month.

“We will need all the votes we can get as the competition will be very stiff this time round,” Mr Roche said. “Wales, Scotland, France and Italy have entered the contest for the first time.”

According to the Earl of Rosse Brendan Parsons the Grey Poplar is 200 years old.

“It is a worthy entrant and we would appeal to all the people of Ireland to vote for this tree when voting commences on February 1,” he said.

The European Tree of the Year title does not necessarily go to the oldest, tallest, biggest, rarest or most beautiful tree, but instead goes to a loved tree with a story that can bring a community together.