Lime in Leliceni
Species: lime (Tilia cordata)
Age: 500 years
Region: Leliceni, Harghita county, Romania
The five hundred years old lime tree grows at the legs of the “Bocskorok hegye” hill, in Leliceni village, Harghita County. It is about 20 metres high and the girth of its trunk is 390 cm. There is only a little information about the tree, but it was probably planted at the beginning of the 16th Century. The stem was surrounded by wooden logs because this was the place where people discussed the main problems of the village. This tradition lives even these days, only that the clamps were changed with wooden benches. Over the centuries and nowadays the linden tree was witness to several tragic events. The village from the Banatus valley, in the vicinity of the tree and the church, was attacked by tartars in 1661 that destroyed the village. After a few decades, the tartars returned, but the tree and the church – this time - remained intact. The legend says that the bullet of the enemy rebounds, killing him. There is a monument in the village which reminds of the tartars’ attack. At the top of the monument, the cross is placed that was decorating the church by the time it had no tower. With the occasion of the construction of the church the cross was transferred to the monument, changing it from a pagan objective to a Christian one. The church gets its final form in 1806 and the linden tree is guarding it until the present days. According to the written documents the tree survived several catastrophes that come upon the village. Long drought started in 1717 and lasted for 17 months, in this period no drop of rain fell and the sun was hot; the wells and rivers were dried, people were forced to leave the village. Everything except for the tree dried, probably because it was already deeply rooted in the earth. In years 1854 and 1871 there were hail storms that destroyed all the crops and affected the church and its surroundings. The tree survived again. Local people believe that the linden tree was planted in a lucky place because it survived long period of drought, hail storms, fires and as well as the floods in 1864. The tree became a symbol of the village and beside the respect of the inhabitants it earned also the respect of the local authorities. As a result, in 1992, the tree was declared as a nature monument. Due to this protection and respect it is possible that the tree will protect the church and the village for a long time.
Photo: Kristó Róbert
European Tree of the Year 2011
 
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1st place 
Previous years and their winners

Finalists of the European Tree of the Year 2011

 
Lime in Leliceni
 
Romania
 
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1st place 
Plane in Garmen
 
Bulgaria
 
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2nd place 
Plane in Letenye
 
Hungaria
 
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3rd place 
Oak in Dubinné
 
Slovakia
 
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4th place 
Hrom’s oak
 
Czech Republic
 
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5th place