Polish oak wins 'European Tree of the Year' award
Oak Józef (Joseph), in the village of Wiśniowa, south-eastern Poland, has been voted the European Tree of the Year 2017.
In an online contest, it received 17, 597 votes from people in 16 countries.
The Brimmon Oak in Wales came second, with 16, 201 votes and the Lime Tree at Lipka in the Czech Republic was third, with 14, 813 votes.
The 650-year-old Oak Józef served as a shelter for a Jewish family hiding from the Nazis during WWII.
Its image featured on the pre-war 100 zlotys banknote.
At present, oak Józef is admired by nature lovers as a listed monument. It also fascinates painters and photographers.
The results of the European Tree of the Year contest, which originated in 2011, were announced on Tuesday at the European Parliament in Brussels. The purpose of the contest is to highlight the significance of old trees in the natural and cultural heritage. Unlike other contests, the European Tree of the Year doesn't focus on beauty, size or age but rather on the tree's story and its connection to people.