We need your vote for the Erskine House Tree
Each year the Woodland Trust select a Tree of the Year in each of the four countries of the UK. The tree which we are asking you to vote for is the Erskine House Tree situated in the grounds of the Belfast City Hospital:-
Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has made it to the final of the Woodland Trust’s Northern Ireland ‘Tree of the Year’ competition. I’d like you help us achieve this unique accolade by voting for the Erskine House tree, which is based at the Belfast City Hospital and Queen’s University Belfast. The competition aims to celebrate the UK’s most beautiful, interesting and quirky trees and, when you read the fascinating story behind the Erskine House tree, we’re sure you’ll agree it’s definitely a worthy recipient of this award.
Sown from the seeds of kindness
The tree is a direct descendant of the ‘Plane tree of Kos’, under which Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, first taught in 500 BC. It was planted in Belfast in the sixties from seeds gifted by Greek physician, Dr Dimitrios Oreopoulos, who was undertaking an MD in kidney research at Queen’s and working at the renal unit at Belfast City Hospital. As a humanitarian, compassionate doctor and researcher, the seeds of kindness that Dr Oreopoulos scattered during his life still bloom today, in the hearts and minds of the countless people living with kidney disease, whose lives have been improved by his pioneering ambulatory peritoneal dialysis treatment.
Legacy of compassion
The legacy of that kindness is rooted in the Erskine House tree which stands stoic and strong today – the only survivor of several trees planted at the time by the seeds gifted by Dr Oreopoulos.
The tree is a symbol of the equal contribution of science and human compassion to medical knowledge and practice.
Hear about what the tree means to people here
Dr James Douglas, former Nephrologist at Belfast City Hospital, who along with Dr Gerard Gormley, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Professor Peter Maxwell, Clinical Professor at Queen’s University nominated the tree for ‘Tree of the Year’ said this:
“Surrounded by high-rise buildings the tree acts as an oasis of calm for staff, patients and students. A beacon from nature, the tree represents humanity and hope in our changing world, reflecting Hippocrates' belief that medicine, although based in science, is also a humane activity. Northern Ireland should be proud of this tree and its rich heritage.”
Voting has opened and will remain open until Sunday 8th October 2017.
To cast your vote click on the link below