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ragnhildur

2013 – Black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) at Freyshólar in Fljótsdalur, E-Iceland

Með English

The Tree of the Year 2013 is a black cottonwood on the farm Freyshólar in Fljótsdalur and is the first cottonwood nominated. Black cottonwood is one of the most common tree species planted in Iceland – it grows quickly and is easy to produce. For this reason, it became one of the most common garden trees in the 1970’s. Due to how large it grows and its extensive root system its popularity as a garden tree has waned, but it has been planted extensively in forestry since the 1990’s, as it has one of the highest timber yield per hectare of the trees growing in Iceland. The tree at Freyshólar is most likely derived from material gathered on the Kenai peninsula in Alaska. It was planted in 1953 by twin brothers Baldur and Bragi Jónsson, who worked their entire careers for the Icelandic Forestry Service. Some manure was added to the soil when the tree was planted but received no further fertilizer after that. The tree has thrived nonetheless, as the soils at Freyshólar are deep and fertile. Measurements at the nomination ceremony put its height at 17,5 m with a trunk diameter of 50,5 cm at chest height.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/opdQYLgZQkCRzGHX6

An article (in Icelandic) in Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

2012 – Grey poplar (Populus x canescens) at Brekkugata 8 in Akureyri, N-Iceland

Með English

The Tree of the Year 2012 is a grey poplar in the garden of Brekkugata 8 in Akureyri. Grey poplar is a hybrid of common aspen (Populus tremula) and silver poplar (Populus alba) and is a popular garden tree in Europe but not very common in Iceland. The house at Brekkugata was originally built in 1925. In 1929 it was purchased by the merchant Axel Kristjánsson and turned out to be badly built, requiring extensive repairs that started in 1934. Axel’s daughter believes the tree was planted after the rebuild, either in 1934 or 1935. Where it originally came from is not known. The poplar takes more after the silver poplar side of the family in terms of leaf shape and colour. It also has a very rough bark, with thick grooves. The tree was measured at the nomination ceremony and was found to be 13,55 m in height, with a trunk circumference of 2,3 m at chest height.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/v4kXFk28sVyXXoYj6

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

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2011 – Alpine laburnum (Laburnum alpinum) at Greniteigur 9 in Reykjanesbær, SW-Iceland

Með English

An alpine laburnum at Greniteigur 9 in Reykjanesbær was selected as the Tree of the Year 2011. Alpine laburnums have proven themselves to be relatively hardy, both in terms of wind and salt, although they grow better and flower more in more sheltered areas. Laburnum trees in Iceland are known to reach up to 10 m in height and frequently sporting many trunks and a large crown, with yellow clusters of flowers. Consequently, they are a fairly popular garden tree in Iceland. The tree at Greniteigur was planted in 1958 or 1959 by the couple who built the house in 1956 and was a few years old at the time of planting. The lady, Sigrún Guðjónsdóttir, was still living in the house at the time of the nomination. The tree was formally measured at the nomination and turned about to be 7,35 m in height and splits into six trunks at about 50 cm height, with the largest trunk having a diameter of 22,2 cm.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/U9ijeJ4szVg8FEE57

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

2010 – Wych elm (Ulmus glabra) at Heiðarvegur 35 in Vestmannaeyjar, S-Iceland

Með English

The Tree of the Year 2010 is a wych elm standing in the garden at Heiðarvegur 35 in the Vestmannaeyjar (Vestmann Islands) off the south coast of Iceland. The islands have a reputation for being difficult for tree growth, due to high winds and salt from the ocean, although severe cold (frost and snow) is rare.  The tree is believed to have been planted in 1945, by the lady of the house. In addition to the severe wind conditions the tree has also survived the volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar in 1973, which destroyed or damaged around half the houses in the town of Vestmanneyjar. The tree was measured at the time of the nomination and was 6,5 m in height. The tree splits into six main trunks, with the largest one being 17,5 cm in diameter.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/nw6nk4QJvwvxgpUB8

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

2009 – Silver birch (Betula pendula) in Kjarnaskógur, N-Iceland

Með English

The Tree of the Year 2009 is a silver birch in the forest of Kjarnaskógur in north Iceland. Kjarnaskógur is varied recreation forest on the outskirts of the town of Akureyri, hosting many different tree species. The silver birch stands framed by a grove of sitka spruce trees. Its exact origins are not known, but it was probably planted in the early 1970’s and is most likely of Norwegian stock. At the time of the nomination the tree was measured at 10,95 m in height, with a trunk diameter around 20 cm at chest height (1,3 m).

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/PGzshT1cHY3TZxtN8

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

2008 – Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Purpureum’) at Borgarbraut 27 in Borgarnes, W-Iceland

Með English

In 2008 a sycamore at Borgarbraut 27 in Borgarnes was nominated as the Tree of the Year. The purple-leaf variant of sycamore trees is rare in Iceland and this tree is a particularly fine example of the type. The tree was planted sometime in 1923-1925. It was measured at the nomination ceremony and was 8,83 m in height, with a circumference of 166 cm at 50 cm height.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/9yury8SaurwFobU29

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

2007 – Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica) at Mörkin in Hallormsstaður, E-Iceland

Með English

The Tree of the Year 2007 is a Siberian pine at Mörkin in Hallormsstaður. The tree grew up from seed sown there in 1906. A total of 25 kg of seeds were sown, with limited results, most likely thanks to mice eating most of the seeds. Some trees made it, however, and have been growing slowly but steadily since. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Siberian pine trees in Mörkin were counted exactly, resulting in a number of 87 trees. Those trees have now begun spreading seeds, so a second generation of pines is on the way. The seeds probably originated around the city of Omsk in western Siberia. At the nomination ceremony in 2007 the tree was measured and turned out to be 13,2 m in height, with a trunk 50 cm in diameter.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/kz9K3VkGt4D7TDfx7

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

2006 – Grey poplar (Populus x canescens) at Austurgata 12 in Hafnarfjörður, SW-Iceland

Með English

A grey poplar at Austurgata 12 was nominated as Tree of the Year inn 2006. The species is rare in Iceland – four others are known in Hafnarfjörður, 4-6 in Reykjavík and one in Akureyri. The tree at Austurgata has a fairly interesting position, as it leans in part on and grows around a concrete fence on the edge of the garden, after almost falling over in a massive storm in 1972. Little information has been found on the age or origin of the tree, but a tree ring age analysis of a core sample indicates the tree was planted prior to 1940, most likely in the early 1930’s. The tree most likely came from the tree nursery run by Einar Helgason, who imported a number of grey poplars in 1932. The tree was measured at the nomination ceremony and was 11,1 m in height, with a large crown around 10 m in diameter. The tree splits into two roughly equal trunks at around chest height (1,3 m).

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/r8EFbwhSMdRPmX8E7

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

2005 – Russian larch (Larix sukaczewii) in Kópavogur, SW-Iceland

Með English

The Tree of the Year 2005 is a Russian larch in Kópavogsdalur, to the east of the Digraneskirkja church. It sits on land leased in 1939 by Kristjana Fenger, which was an almost two-hectare size plot from the farm Digranes, with the contract stipulating cultivation of the plot (“garden or grass field cultivation”). The Fenger family had already built a summer house on the site in 1934, but the signing of the contract had taken longer than expected. The cultivation clause was taken seriously, with trees planted and a vegetable patch. According to the Fenger family the larch tree was planted prior to 1939, when John Fenger, Kristjana’s husband, passed away. The tree was almost submerged in soil in 1992 due to a nearby road construction but was saved. The tree has a large crown, with many branches, that indicate the tree suffered some stress in its early years. Most likely is frost damage, but conditions in the southwest of Iceland generally don’t suit Russian larch particularly well. The tree was measured in 2005 and had a height of 8,6 m, with a circumference of 105 cm at chest height.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/DmrFKs25X6D9aL5z8

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).

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2004 – European larch (Larix decidua) at Hafnargata 48 in Seyðisfjörður, E-Iceland

Með English

The Tree of the Year 2004 is a European larch at Hafnargata 48 in Seyðisfjörður. The tree is one of the oldest larch trees in Iceland, although its exact age is unknown. The tree has quite a unique shape, with the widest trunk of any larch in Iceland and a really long branch extending out. The trunk splits in two at around 1 m height, with twists in both trunks and one of them splitting again into two. As a consequence, the tree has a crown that is wider than the tree height. The tree was estimated to be about 90 years old in 2004, based on a core sample. As for where it came from two theories have been proposed. One is that the owner of the house at the time got plants from either Norway or Denmark or that it came from Hallormsstaður, from a larch seeding in 1903.

Location on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ur2cQGB7nYxhYyff7

An article (in Icelandic) from Skógræktarritið – The Journal of the Icelandic Forestry Association about the tree (here).