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Which tree is the most loveable one in Ireland? We'll know by tomorrow

Voting is currently taking place in the National Tree Huggers contest.

PEOPLE ARE BEING encouraged to find their inner tree hugger and vote for Ireland’s Most Loveable Tree.

Members of the public have until tomorrow night to vote in the National Tree Huggers 2014 contest ‘Love My Tree’.

Fifteen people, including former Young Person of the Year Joanne O’Riordan, chef Rachel Allen and Westmeath footballer Israel Ilunga, have chosen their favourite trees for inclusion in the competition.

jr tree

israel tree

Pics: Just Forests

Just Forests is behind the initiative and the organisation hopes it will get people talking about serious environmental issues, such as climate change and Ireland’s dependence on imported timber.

Tom Roche, founder and co-ordinator of Just Forests, stated: “The thinking behind this is it’s a nice way of engaging people without being in their face about the more controversial issues.”

People are so overwhelmed by so many issues today, it’s a nice way to engage them. They’re so distracted by new taxes, the Euro just isn’t buying the same amount of stuff as it did this time last year …

Ireland has one of the largest per capita consumption of tropical wood in Europe.

“We need to plant trees, we don’t have half enough,” Roche said.

We can’t ignore the environment. This is where we get everything that sustains us, everything else is secondary. We have to really cherish the natural world and be better stewards of it.

Matt Fogarty is currently well ahead in the competition, with over 1,000 votes at the time of publication.

Roche said that this is particualry notable as the 81-year-old has no access to a computer or the internet. He’s getting votes by handing out cards to people he meets when out and about in Tipperary.

matt forgaty tree

Pic: Just Forests

Roche said it’s scientifically proven that tree hugging is good for your health.

There’s no doubt about it. I’m 65 and in excellent health, I hug a tree whenever I can.

Voting is set to close at midnight tomorrow, 31 October.

The winning tree will go on to represent Ireland in the European Tree of the Year 2015 Contest.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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