Hugh O’Flaherty’s Trees
Species: Mediterranean palm (Chamaerops humilis var. Argentea), Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Holm oak (Quercus ilex), Stone pine (Pinus pinea)
Age: 25 years
Region: Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
The Hero Trees
There is a tree called freedom and it grows somewhere in the hearts of men, rain falls, ice freezes, wind blows, the tree shivers, stedies itself again, steadies itself like Hugh O’Flaherty’s hand, guiding trapped and hunted people, day and night, to what all hearts love and understand, the tree of freedom upright in the light. Mediterranean palm, Italian cypress, Hom oak, Stone pine; A peaceful grove in honour of that man, commemorates all who struggle to be free. The hurried world is a slave of time, wise men are victims of their shrewdest plans. (By poet, Brendan Connelly – June 1994)

During WW2 in occupied Rome, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty helped to save some 6500 people (Anti Fascists, Jews and Allied POW escapees)  from Nazi capture and almost certain death, by hiding them in safe houses and apartments throughout Rome. These trees were planted in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Rome and the success of the Monsignor’s escape organisation.
Photo: Don McMonagle
European Tree of the Year 2017
 
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15th place 
National contest organizer: Just Forests
Previous years and their winners

Finalists of the European Tree of the Year 2017

 
Oak Józef
 
Poland
 
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1st place 
The Brimmon Oak
 
Wales, UK
 
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2nd place 
The lime tree at Lipka
 
Czech republic
 
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3rd place 
The Céron park saman
 
France
 
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4th place 
The Sycamore Gap Tree
 
England, UK
 
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5th place 
The Holm Oak
 
Northern Ireland, UK
 
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6th place 
The venerable sessile oak by the Nasalevtsi church
 
Bulgaria
 
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7th place 
The "Ding Dong" Tree
 
Scotland, UK
 
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8th place 
Plane tree from Budatin
 
Slovakia
 
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9th place 
Aprisquillo Pine
 
Spain
 
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10th place 
Russalka oak
 
Estonia
 
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11th place 
The Village Lime Tree of Massemen
 
Belgium
 
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12th place 
Stelmužė oak
 
Lithuania
 
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13th place 
The most beautiful plane tree of the Jászai Mari square
 
Hungary
 
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14th place 
Hugh O’Flaherty’s Trees
 
Ireland
 
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15th place 
Climbing Beech in Hoppenrade
 
Germany
 
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16th place