Public urged to vote for 'King Oak' in online competition

Mon, Feb 18, 2013, 00:00

Internet votes are urgently needed if a centuries-old Irish oak tree is to become European Tree of the Year 2013 as the competition nears its end.

According to Tom Roche of Co Offaly-based Just Forests, the Irish tree is in third position but will need to more than double its 3,500 votes to overtake the leading Polish entrant.

Mr Roche nominated the oak tree – known locally as King Oak – as Ireland’s first entry in the competition. Legend has it the 400- to 800-year-old Pedunculate oak (quercus robur) at Charleville Estate in Tullamore, Co Offaly, has a unique power.

Should King Oak lose a branch, some locals believe a member of the Hutton-Bury family (owners of the Charleville estate) will die. “In 1963, a bolt of lightning did strike the tree and true to legend Col Charles Hutton-Bury died some weeks later,” said Mr Roche

Voting closes on February 28th and is free at