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Peace Tree is Northern Ireland Tree of the Year

The Peace Tree in north Belfast which has been named Tree of the Year by the Woodland Trust. Photograph by Michael Cooper
Staff reporter

A TREE planted in 1919 in north Belfast in honour of those who died in first World War has been named Northern Ireland's Tree of the Year.

Known as the Peace Tree and located in Woodvale Park, the large oak became a focal point for veterans in the decades after the war and still attracts many visitors.

Almost 900 people voted for the symbolic tree as part of a competition organised by the Woodland Trust. A "magificent oak" in Derry known as the Tree of Witness was runner-up while the Dark Hedges in Ballymoney took third place.

Votes were cast from as far as India and Canada for a Co Down tree, Moneypenny's Yew, near Newry Canal.

The Peace Tree will represent the north in the European-wide contest, which will take place in February next year.

Historian Bobby Foster and Same Coulter nominated the winning entry.

"It's heartening that such interest, from both local people and visitors, in the Peace Tree remains today. A sincere thank you goes to each and every person who took the time to vote, and our thanks to the Woodland Trust for organising the competition here in Northern Ireland," said Mr Foster.

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