Tree of the Year Contest

Comox Valley Nature holds an annual “Tree of the Year” contest to identify and highlight individual trees of significant interest or importance or beauty in the Comox Valley, as a way to raise awareness of the value of keeping trees of special note alive and well. Members can nominate a tree they love, and the judges visit the trees and decide on a winner. A small prize is awarded, and we all benefit from learning about these beautiful specimens.

Read our blog posts about upcoming and past Tree of the Year events.


The concept began in the Czech Republic about 20 years ago and has evolved into the European Tree of the Year Award, organized by the Environmental Partnership Association.  It has since spread to several countries in Europe including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany and Slovakia.   The presentation ceremony takes place annually around March 21 which is the International Day of Forests.

CVN’s contest was proposed by a member initiative, with the first set of nominations solicited in 2017 and the first winner announced in early 2018. To the best of our knowledge, this contest is unique in North America. Initially, only native trees were eligible, but the rules were subsequently broadened to include non-native specimens also.

Assessment process

A committee of judges visits each nominated tree to measure and photograph it, and record its merits. The committee then evaluates the nominees using a scoring matrix based on three categories: the first is personal, a combination of aesthetic and spiritual values; the second is the cultural significance, what the tree means to a community; the third is the physical world, what the tree means in the economy and environment.

Contest guidelines

(Be sure to check the latest set of contest rules, and obtain an entry form.)

You can nominate a single tree, a cluster, a grove, or even a small forest.

Nominated trees can be either native or introduced. Among the native trees to consider are the following:

Garry Oak, Yellow Cedar, Lodgepole Pine, Shore Pine (variation), Western White Pine, Sitka Spruce, Grand Fir, Douglas Fir, Amabalis Fir, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, Mountain Hemlock, Arbutus, Western Yew, Pacific Dogwood, Big Leaf Maple, Douglas Maple, Black Hawthorn, Cascara, Pacific Crab Apple, Bitter Cherry, Red Alder

Include a photograph if possible.

Does the tree have a story?   Special benefits to the community?   Do you know who the steward is for the tree?

Thank you for participating in this unique way of raising the profile of remarkable trees in the Comox Valley.