Bulgaria's Old Elm is Tree of 2014

Bulgaria's Old Elm in the city of Sliven has been declared European Tree of 2014.

The winner was announced in the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels.

It was determined by an EU-wide poll, in which people could choose among trees from 9 different countries - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Ireland, Poland, France, Italy, the UK, and Bulgaria.

The Old Elm has collected 77 526 votes, with the runner-up from Hungary lagging behind with over 40 000 votes less.

Located in Sliven, a city to the east of Bulgaria, the tree is 1100 years old and 10 meters high, with a diameter of 5.65 cm.

The Old Elm is very popular among Sliven's inhabitants, which see it as a symbol of their city, as well as the best-known landmark when one wants to get together with friends.

It was once part of an ancient forest that stretched from Southern Bulgaria's Rhodope Mountains to the Black Sea.

Nowadays many people arrange their meetings by the tree, which is also part of the city's coat of arms.

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