What are our objectives?
We are tree-lovers who not only share the hobby of measuring big trees but we feel that we serve a wider public. In our opinion,
- Trees have many positive effects on human life like filtering dust out of the air, casting shade, providing oxygen. The bigger the tree the better its overall usefulness.
- They give structure and pattern to streets, roads, squares, buildings.
- Trees were and still are of overwhelming importance for the economy.
- Big trees can play an important role in influencing climatic change.
- Big, tall, old or otherwise remarkable trees are an important feature in our landscapes, villages, towns and cities.
- Big, tall, old or otherwise remarkable trees often are a part of our childhood memories.
- These trees connect us with our past as well as with our future.
- Monumental trees often stand for an event in history, for some legend or myth, for a local episode and sometimes for some superstition.
In addition to these functions and effects, veteran trees sometimes touch our hearts in a way no other living being can. Also, trees are better suitable than most other organisms to teach us of the wonders of nature. This is especially true for kids and teenagers.
All in all we are convinced that monumental trees need protection to enable them to do all the beneficent functions they provide us with.
Who are we?
Besides the Champion Trees some of us take an interest in trees of outstanding beauty, historic trees and trees with a story or a legend connected to them. Collectively they are called monumental trees.
The ECTF is currently an informal organisation. Since there is no formal structure – except for the Secretary who seeks to co-ordinate the group – we rather consider ourselves to be a club and not a society, a union or a NGO. Most of us, though, are members of our national dendrological societies, work at university institutes or have some other professional affiliation with tree-related organisations.
Currently we have a contact list of more than 100 friends and colleagues representing groups, societies and institutions from Ireland to Romania and from Spain to Finland. Of these around one half take part in the regular exchange of information, news, pictures and opinions. Interested people from Scandinavia, Southern and Southeastern Europe in particular are most welcome to join us.
The main events are the ECTF meetings which are held at somewhat irregular intervals. The first meeting took place in Wespelaar, Belgium, in 2010, followed by meetings in Bonn, Germany (2011), Bialowieza, Poland (2013) and Valsaín, Spain (2014). The next three meetings are planned for in Hungary (2015), the Czech Republic (2016) and England (2017).
The meetings normally combine excursions to remarkable trees in the vicinity with presentations featuring the progress in national data bases of champion trees and other issues of wider interest. Just as important is the individual exchange of views and opinions, often resulting in joint projects and visits.
Every tree-lover is invited to join us, either to just get informed of ECTF and national activities and meeting like-minded people or by taking an active part in developing the future of our group – maybe to shape an organisation with a pan-European impact on tree matters.