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Tree of the year / Rākau o te tau | New Zealand

Welcome to our third annual Tree of the Year New Zealand campaign! The competition takes place March to May each year and seeks to track down New Zealand’s most interesting trees and their stories.

The objective of the campaign is to celebrate the trees that are part of our lives and communities and acknowledge the stories that connect us. The Tree of the Year competition is an interactive celebration of our trees, run by New Zealanders for New Zealanders.

Stage 1. Tree nominations (mid-March – mid-April)

In the first part of the Tree of the Year competition, people are invited to nominate a tree they consider special. Not a whole species …just one very special tree. We ask you to tell its story and share the reasons you think your tree should be Tree of the Year.

Stage 2. Selecting the finalists (late April)


In stage 2, your Tree of the Year expert panel* meet and look at all your special tree nominations. As you can imagine this is a big job whittling hundreds of nominations down to just six trees that represent all the major regions of Aotearoa.

Stage 3. Voting is open (May)

Voting opens on 1 May. New Zealanders are invited to vote from the six finalist and have your say on which tree you think should be New Zealand’s Tree of the Year! Voting closes at midnight on 31 May.

Winner announced!

​Winners are announced on 5 June (Arbor Day).

​The competition was inspired by the ‘European tree of the year’ which has been running since 2011.

​Tree of the Year is not about the biggest or most beautiful tree, but about the stories and heritage that connects us to our trees. It’s about celebrating the trees that play an important part in our lives, our history and our future.

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