Belina lipa; the 780-year-old linden tree, Source: Varaždin County

Varaždin County to carry out gene conservation of 780-year-old linden tree

Varaždin County to carry out gene conservation of 780-year-old linden tree

Legend says that the Croatian-Hungarian King Béla IV planted ‘Belina lipa’ in 1242

This week, Varaždin County reported that the oldest linden tree in the Croatian Municipality of Visoko will be preserved in a gene pool conservation project. Called ‘Belina lipa’, the tree is 780 years old and one of Croatia’s most valuable and rare specimens. For this reason, local authorities believe that it must be preserved for future generations.

As such, employees from the public institution that manages protected nature in the county (Priroda Varaždinske županije) visited Visoko on 8 February to collect samples from the tree. Sanja Kopjar, from the institution carrying out the project, explained that employees will graft the seedlings of the tree on already prepared rootstocks.

Subsequently, they will create a tree with the same genetic characteristics as Belina Lipa, the parent tree. 

780-year-old linden tree in CroatiaAn old photograph of Belina Lipa (Source: Varaždin County)

Environmental and historical significance 

Kopjar further disclosed that the gene pool conservation project aims to prevent the extinction of protected trees that are affected not only by the passage of time but extreme climate change. Expanding on this and the significance of the linden tree, County Prefect Anđelko Stričak shared:

“It is extremely important to preserve biodiversity in the area of our county, especially in times of climate change. ‘Belina lipa’ is about 780 years old and is one of the oldest trees in Croatia. According to legend, this magnificent linden tree was planted by the Croatian-Hungarian King Béla IV, when he fled from the Tartars to Dalmatia in 1242. Due to its great cultural and historical significance, Belina lipa was protected in 1996.”

It is important to note that Belina Lipa is not the only tree in the gene pool conservation project. That is, the nettle linden tree in Varaždin County’s Brick Arboretum is also included.

To view photographs of the 780-year-old linden tree, see the gallery above. 



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