Bulgarian Oak Ranks High in European Tree of Year Contest
An oak located next to a 19th church in Western Bulgaria has the third-best result so far in the European Tree of the Year 2017 poll.
The venerable sessile oak by the Nasalevtsi church, near the Bulgarian-Serbian border, has received nearly 4900 points as of 14:30 Bulgarian time (EET).
The lime tree at Lapka (Czech Republic) with 7583 points and the Brimmon oak (Wales, UK) with 7215 points are the only trees with more points.
The venerable sessile oak by the Nasalevtski church is described as "the guardian of the village and its people" on the website.
"A venerable sessile oak tree, which is more than 600-year-old, grows by the outer wall of the local church of the "Nativity of Mary" in Nasalevtsi," the description goes on.
"The place is considered sacred. The proof is that there was a church here back in the period of the Second Bulgarian State (12th-14th century). Nativity of Mary Church was built in 1859. Since then people used to make annual sacrificial offerings to saints to pray for good health, protection from storms, snakes, attacks by invaders, and also for rain."
You can vote for the European Tree of the Year poll here.