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Contenders for tree of the year have deep roots in history

1066 and all that: Crowhurst Yew probably predates the Norman invasion PICTURES: PA/WMTL

THEY don’t sing or dance but the contenders for Tree of the Year have something in common with hopefuls on The X Factor — great back stories. (Or should that be bark stories?)

Survivor: Kirkwall’s Big Tree has escaped the chop

Crowhurst Yew, on King Harold Godwinson’s old manor near Hastings, East Sussex, probably predates the Norman conquest. The Big Tree, a 200-year-old sycamore used as a meeting place in Kirkwall, Orkney, has twice been saved from felling.

The royal tree: Evelyn’s Mulberry may have been planted by czar Peter the Great

Evelyn’s Mulberry, in diarist John Evelyn’s old garden in Deptford, London, may have been planted by Peter the Great. And The Hollow Tree, an oak, has been climbed by children for generations in Gnoll Country Park, Neath, south Wales.

Holed favourite: The Hollow Tree

Vote for your favourites in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on woodlandtrust.org.uk