Top trunks: ‘The Survivor’ rowan named tree of the year

The Survivor at Carrifran, near Moffat, ousted four others in the annual competition.

Top trunks: ‘The Survivor’ rowan named tree of the year WTML

A once-lone rowan surrounded by new native woodland has been named Scotland’s Tree of the Year.

The Survivor at Carrifran, near Moffat, ousted four others from across the country in the annual competition.

The winner has become an emblem for Borders Forest Trust, which took ownership of the land 20 years ago and planted hundreds of thousands of trees.

It will receive a trophy and a care package worth £1000, which can be spent on works to benefit its health, interpretation signage or community celebration.

Carol Evans, director of Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “We are facing a climate emergency and a biodiversity crisis. One of the most obvious responses is to get more trees in our landscape.

“Trees soak up carbon from the atmosphere and provide a home for wildlife. So it is fantastic that Borders Forest Trust has shown what can be achieved at Carrifran Wildwood. This tree itself is quite ordinary but it represents something extraordinary.”

Fi Martynoga, who nominated the rowan in the competition, said: “This tree rapidly became a very important symbol of our aspirations to see this valley completely re-wooded and restored to its natural vegetation.

“In this valley alone we have planted well over 600,000 trees. The beauty of it is they are now beginning to reproduce themselves.

“It shows how you can change an environment for the better, preserve and multiply what is around. I hope it can stand as a symbol for other people, that they can do the same thing.”

The competition has run annually since 2014. Fifty trees were nominated by the public earlier in the year.

These were whittled down by a panel of judges, with five finalists going to an online public vote.

The Survivor won with 1293 votes. The Climate Change Tree in Alloa had 1027 votes, the Milarrochy Oak at Loch Lomond had 720 votes, Queen Mary’s Thorn in Fife had 319 votes and the Lord President’s Oak near Inverness had 317.