European Tree of the Year 2015

Voting for the European Tree of the Year 2015 is easy! During the whole month of February every individual has the possibility to vote for his or her favourite tree online at The results will be published here on March 5th. The prize will be awarded during a ceremony on April 22nd in Brussels.

This year fourteen countries have taken part in contests national tree of the year.

Beginning today, people have the opportunity to choose their favourite stories among trees from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain and Wales. The winning trees are not the most beautiful or the biggest, but the trees which stories are most touching, the trees whose roots are more deepen into the living of the local people that surrounds them.
Now it is up to the public, which tree will win the European Tree of the year. Fourteen nice stories are introducing the national trees.

Czech participant is old black pine (Pinus nigra ssp. austriaca) at age 257 years, from small town Velke Opatovice (South Moravian region). The tree is nominated by Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation.

The Czech tree’s story

Thanks to its unique way of branching, this pine is the landmark of the castle park in Velké Opatovice. Reminiscent of a seven-headed dragon, it has attracted many generations of children to climb its branches. According to folk tales, the tree is a cursed dragon that fought St. George, patron of the local church. The pine used to be called “Juliette” because Countess Julie Herberstein, the last owner of the Opatovice estates often had been sitting on a white bench underneath it. The pine has been selected as a mother tree for seed collection and reproduction.

The European Tree of the Year contest originated in 2011. It was inspired by the popular Tree of the Year contest, which has been organised in the Czech Republic by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation for many years. The European round is a finale consisting of the winners of the national rounds.

The number of countries participating has increased from 5 to 14. The foundation is always looking for new partners in European countries, so that the protection of trees – bearers of genius loci – becomes a topic of international debate.

The information about all shortlisted trees and the trees stories are on the web

Il florovivaismo Europeo

Nel 2013 il valore della produzione florovivaistica Europea è stimata dalla Commissione in 21 miliardi di Euro con una diminuizione, a prezzi costanti, dello 0,4% rispetto al 2012. I paesi principali sono l’Olanda con il 30% (=), l’Italia con il 13,7% (-0,4%), la Germania 12,7% (+0,7%), la Francia 12% (=), la Spagna 11% (=), il Regno Unito 5,3% (-07%) ed il Belgio 2% (-3%). La produzione florovivaistica rappresenta oltre il 5% della produzione agricola dell’UE a 27; l’Italia è seconda in termini di valore della produzione florovivaistica solo all’Olanda: la produzione ai prezzi base del settore piante e fiori nel 2013 è stimata in circa 2,7 miliardi di euro, pari al 7% circa dell’intera produzione agricola nazionale.

Per quanto riguarda la superficie siamo di fronte ad un andamento altalenante ma ormai stabilizzato sui 200.000 ettari coltivati di cui il 40% in Olanda, in Germania abbiamo una certa diminuizione, l’Italia, Spagna e Polonia sono stazionarie ed in crescita +1% la Francia.

Per quanto riguarda le aziende sono generalmente diminuite per i fiori recisi e le piante in vaso (attestandosi sulle 60.000), segno evidente di un processo di ristrutturazione in corso ed imputabile agli alti costi energetici ed all’aumento della pressione competitiva, mentre in generale aumentano per i vivai (attestandosi sulle 55.000).

Ornamental plants in Europe

In 2013 the value of flower production is estimated by the European Commission in 21 billion with a decrease at constant prices, by 0.4% compared to 2012. The major countries are the Netherlands with 30% (=), Italy with 13.7% (-0.4%), Germany 12.7% (+ 0.7%), France 12% (=), Spain 11% (=), UK 5.3% (-07%) and Belgium 2% (-3%). The flower production represents more than 5% of agricultural production in the EU 27; Italy is second in terms of value of production nursery only next to Holland: the output at basic prices in the industry plants in 2013 is estimated at 2.7 billion euro, equal to 7% of the entire agricultural national production.

As for the acreage, we are facing a trend downwards, but now stabilized at 200,000 hectares, of which 40% in the Netherlands, in Germany we have a certain decrease, Italy, Spain and Poland are constant and + 1% for France.

As for the companies for cut flowers and potted plants (totaling about 60,000) are generally decreased, a clear sign of a restructuring process is under way and due to high energy costs and increased competitive pressure, (because ) In contrary the number of nurseries of outdoor plants etc totaling about 55,000, is increased because there is no merger of companies and new companies have been established.

Nationale groencompetitie Entente Florale 2015 van start

In het Limburgse dorp Beesel in met een geanimeerde deelnemersbijeenkomst het startsein gegeven voor de nationale groencompetitie Entente Florale 2015. Beesel was in 2014 winnaar van de categorie dorpen en kleine steden in deze competitie.

De genomineerden voor 2015 zijn bij de steden: Capelle a/d IJssel, Oisterwijk en Zwijndrecht. Bij de categorie dorpen en kleine steden gaan Borculo (gemeente Berkelland), Ootmarsum (Gemeente Dinkelland) en Zaltbommel voor Goud.

De deelnemers worden op het gebied van groenvisie, beleid en uitvoering beoordeeld door een onafhankelijke jury, die een rapport uitbrengt waarin niet alleen het onderbouwde oordeel is oordeel is opgenomen, maar ook aanbevelingen worden gedaan.

Kick off for national competition Entente Florale

The village of Beesel in the province of Limburg was this years’ host for the kick for the national green competition for Dutch cities and villages/small towns, Entente Florale. In 2014 Beesel won Gold in the categorie Villages and small cities.

Nominated this year are the cities Capelle a/d IJssel, Oisterwijk and Zwijndrecht and the villages Borculo, Ootmarsum and Zaltbommel.

The participating cities and villages are judged on their green vision, policy and implementation by an independent Jury which offers a report in which not only the judgment is published but also recommendations.