A three-hundred-year-old stone birch (Ermana birch) in the Valley of Geysers represents Kamchatka at the competition «Russian Tree of the Year - 2021». You can choose #главноедеревостраны (the main tree of the country) on the website of the All-Russian program «Trees - natural monuments» www.rosdrevo.ru, you can vote until August 1.
The pearl of the Valley of Geysers is No. 35 on the list of contenders. A sprawling ancient tree (with a height of 14 meters and a tree girth of more than 3 meters) grows among floating geysers, thermal sites, mud and water boilers in the central part of the Geysernaya River valley in the Kronotsky Reserve. This birch tree is a real decoration of the Valley.
In 2011, the Ermana birch acquired the status of a natural monument. It is on the fifteenth place in the register of old-growth trees of Russia. It became a natural monument due to its old age and the fact that it is connected with a historical figure who made a significant geographical discovery. Near this stone birch tree in July 1941 the camp was set by Tatyana Ustinova and Anisifor Krupenin, who 80 years ago discovered the Valley of Geysers in the Kronotsky Reserve and made the first descent into the soaring gorge.
«Russian Tree of the Year» is the national evaluation stage of the annual international competition "European Tree of the Year», which has been held since 2011 in all European countries and is becoming more popular every year. Russia has been participating in the prestigious international competition since 2018 and is always among the top three winners. Abramtsevsky oak (2019) took the second place. Belgorod Oak (2018), Lone poplar from Kalmykia (2020) and Ancient sycamore from Dagestan (2021) received a bronze award.
Photo: Igor Shpilenok, Valentin Spichak