A SYCAMORE which sits atop Colchester Castle is hoping to be tree-umphant in a competition to find England’s best tree.

Ten trees have been shortlisted for the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year, and now members of the public are being invited to vote for their top specimen.

The sycamore tree which grows on top of Colchester Castle is one of those shortlisted.

It has been growing on top of the south east tower for around 200 years.

The tree had been removed in 1985 to allow repairs to the castle wall and was replanted by the six-year-old daughter Nicola of then mayor Sir Bob Russell in May 1987. It was initially planted to commemorate the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.

The tree will now go up against nine other specimens.

Sir Bob, who is Colchester High Steward, is urging residents to vote for the tree on Colchester Castle.

He said: “The national prestige that winning this competition is important.

“It will encourage tourism – and for those of us who live or work in Colchester, add to civic pride.”

The other trees in contention include a towering Allerton Oak in Liverpool, and London’s Fallen Tree in Richmond Park, a fantastic example of a phoenix tree which has kept growing after having fallen in a storm.

The Woodland Trust’s annual competition is designed to highlight and celebrate the best trees in the country.

It is being supported by award-winning horticulturalist David Domoney.

He said: “The Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year celebrates the marvel and beauty of trees in our country. They are such an important part of our cities and countryside, not only for their beauty, but also for the health benefits they offer to all living creatures.

“Choosing the one tree that stands out from the rest is a hard decision, take a look for yourself.

To vote visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear.