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NZ’s Tree of the Year

Six nominees for this year’s New Zealand Tree of the Year competition have been revealed, with organisers saying the story behind the trees is often as important as the vegetation itself. Source: RNZ

The competition, now in its third year, is not about celebrating a species, just “one very special tree”.

This year’s list includes the Walking Tree on the West Coast and Moko in Otari Wilton’s Bush, Wellington, with “Freddie’s Pōhutukawa” in Gisborne, which took the title last year – again on the list.

New Zealand Arboricultural Association president Richie Hill told RNZ Nights the competition celebrates the trees that play an important part in our lives, our history and our future.

“It’s about connecting people with trees.

“Trees are great bridge builders, we don’t talk about them enough, and we’re getting less of them, not more, especially in places that matter.

“If we don’t appreciate them and acknowledge them, then we’re not going to recognise their significance.”

He said the competition was about the stories around the trees and their connection to a place, and these were living remnants of that.

“There are six amazing stories here.”

The competition was inspired by the ‘European tree of the year’ which has been running since 2011.

Voting closes at midnight on 31 May, with winners announced on 5 June (Arbor Day).

Vote in the 2024 Tree of the Year competition at