Russian Tree Cancelled

( A famous Russian oak tree planted by novelist Ivan Turgenev 198 years ago was banned from entering the European Tree of the Year competition over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Unless the Russian military is made up of Ents, the living trees from Lord of the Rings, why on earth would they need to ban a Russian oak tree from competing?

People have lost their minds.

The European Tree of the Year competition was founded in 2011 to celebrate historic trees and develop bonds between nations, not to mention to give organizers a way to virtue signal over global politics. Ordinarily, 16 countries compete, holding national qualifying contests to select their entry.

Russia has done well in the competition. In the four years it has participated, Russia came in first, second, or third place.

The panel in Brussels in charge of the competition said in a statement that due to the “unprecedented aggression” against Ukraine, the judges felt that they could not “stand idly by.” So, to strike a blow against Vladimir Putin, they decided to take action … against a tree planted nearly two centuries ago.

The tree won’t mind. It was destroyed by a hurricane last year. But, according to the Russian competition liaison, Sergey Palchikov, the judges’ decision killed it a second time.

At last Tuesday’s awards ceremony in Brussels, this year’s winner was a 400-year-old oak tree from Poland’s Bialowieza forest. In awarding the tree, the judges said it was a symbol of Polish resistance to aggression by welcoming Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion.

These judges aren’t particularly subtle, are they?

The funny thing is, even choosing the Polish oak tree for the competition was political.

Earlier this year, Poland began construction on a 115-mile, 18-foot-high metal wall to prevent migrants from crossing from Belarus into Poland. The wall goes right through the Bialowieza forest. So to protest the construction of a wall to stop migrants, the tree was selected as Poland’s entry.

In his letter to the organizers, competition liaison Sergey Palchikov informed them that Russia would be withdrawing from the competition indefinitely.