THE UK'S Tree of the Year looks unlikely to be crowned Europe's top tree – with a Polish beech opening up a substantial lead in the public ballot. 

Wrexham's Sweet Chestnut fought off tough competition to become the country's entry in the continent-wide contest, but, with only a week of voting to go, finds itself in tenth spot, nearly 18,000 votes behind runaway leader, the Heart of the Garden. 

France's Weeping Beech of Bayeux (13,753 votes), Italy's Thousand-year-old Olive Tree of Luras (8,812), and the Camellia of Portugal (6,925) complete the top four. All votes are correct as of 10pm on Wednesday. 

Czech Republic's environment ministry is this year supporting the event, and Petr Hladík, the country's environment minister, said: "The Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic has long been trying to strengthen the relationship between local communities and their natural treasures, whether through subsidies for, among other things, planting community green spaces, restoring and creating landscape features, and our recent research project on community gardens in cities to determine their potential in times of crisis such as the COVID pandemic. 

Forestry Journal: Poland's Heart of the Garden (a common beech) is currently leading the contest Poland's Heart of the Garden (a common beech) is currently leading the contest (Image: Supplied)

"The importance of community gardens, which offer a space for relaxation, a green island in times of heat, a haven for urban biodiversity and food sovereignty, will grow in the future, and we therefore want to support them.”

Europeans have until 4pm on Thursday, February 22, to vote for their tree of the year. 

Visit to have you say.