A MAJESTIC tree has proved mighty oaks from little acorns really do grow after being shortlisted for the UK Tree of the Year award.

The oak tree – at Helions Bumpstead – is into the final ten and could compete for the European crown if it takes the UK title.

The shortlist was chosen from hundreds of entries.

A Woodland Trust spokesman said: “It’s not the mightiest oak but has bundles of personality and is a perfect example of how oaks can host other species such as moss and ivy cascading from its trunk and branches.

“These coexist and do no damage to its ecosystem.

“This oak looks simply splendid captured in all its autumn glory.”

A monster chestnut tree which is more than 600 years old, a hornbeam known as the ‘Teapot Tree’ and a sycamore saved from the chop are three rivals in the running for the top spot.

Voting is now open to the public, who will decide which tree is named champion.

Adam Cormack, of the the Woodland Trust, said the competition is a reminder of the natural connection we have with trees.

“It’s all about that ‘wow’ moment that people get when they see a tree they appreciate,” he said.

“This could be standing under a magnificent old oak or noticing the autumn colours of a street tree on the school run.

“This connection is something that children and adults share.

“Trees can make us happy, healthy, thoughtful – or upset when they are lost from our lives. The nominations we receive for Tree of the Year on social media are a window into the way we experience trees and the richness they bring to our lives.

“But Tree of the Year has a serious message. Many of our oldest and most special trees in the UK have no form of legal protection.

“It’s time that our oldest trees got the same protection as our oldest buildings. After all, once they are gone ancient trees can never be replaced like for like.”

But not even winning the title guarantees a happy ending.

Last year’s winner – Hackney’s ‘Happy Man Tree’ – got the chop shortly after scooping the award because of redevelopment.

Voting closes at noon on December 13 at woodlandtrust.org.uk, or vote on social media using #TreeoftheWeek.