A 1000-year-old yew where John Knox preached, a hawthorn planted by Mary Queen of Scots and a stunted oak loved by photographers are amongst the contenders to be named Scotland’s Tree of the Year 2020.

Online voting opens today with the winning tree set to receive a care package worth £1000 which can be spent on works to benefit its health, interpretation signage or community celebration.

Woodland Trust Scotland director Carol Evans said on the competition: “We felt a definite lockdown effect in the competition this year, with twice the usual number of nominations.

“There was a common theme to a lot of the trees and their stories – of tenacity and hanging on against the odds.

“There were a handful of trees just outside the final six, which had been discovered or were provoking particular affection during people’s daily walks. Everyone has taken solace from the nature on their doorstep and it has been quite moving to see so many trees that became places to escape, gyms and classrooms.

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“Trees were there for us, as they always are when we need to boost our mental health and wellbeing.”

50 trees were nominated by the public earlier in the year. These have been whittled down by a panel of judges with six finalists now going to the public vote.

These are the Climate Change Tree in Alloa, the Great Yew of Ormiston in East Lothian, the Lord President’s Oak near Inverness, the Milarrochy Oak at Loch Lomond, Queen Mary’s Thorn in Fife and the Survivor Tree in the Borders.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “The competition has unearthed some remarkable trees and demonstrates the strong ties and affection communities feel towards them, fostering a strong connection with nature.”

Voting takes place at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear and runs until September 24.

One voter will win a £100 voucher for clothing and homeware store Joules.